Thursday, 27 March 2014
Review: Escape From The Shadow Garden (Magnum)
#687: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! "Escape From The Shadow Garden", the new album from local rock heroes Magnum is mightily impressive and a tour de force of what Yours Truly KJS terms "melodic rock". I say this because the term "heavy rock" does not do justice to the latest eleven classy compositions still being presented by Tony Clarkin.
Recorded just a couple of miles away from ELOBF HQ in nearby Coven, "Escape From The Shadow Garden" is an album that exhibits a charm and quality that belies a band with 18 albums under their belt and demonstrates an ongoing maturity in performance and song craftsmanship. And make no mistake about it, ELO's former Jet Records label mates have successfully reinvented themselves with this their latest outing as the guitar driven, anthemic rock of Tony Clarkin is seeded with the tinkering keyboards of Mark Stanway and the unmistakable, enigmatic vocals of Bob Catley whilst not forgetting the twin heartbeats of Alan Barrow on bass and Harry James on drums. Faves for me on this excellent album are the opener "Live 'Til You Die", "Falling For The Big Plan", "Don't Fall Asleep"; "Wisdom's Had Its Day" and "The Valley Of Tears". (9/10)
"Escape From The Shadow Garden" was released in the UK on Monday 24th March and is available in all formats from reputable vendors including emp-online.co.uk and amazon.co.uk. And to further enhance the reputation of the album, it has just entered the UK Midweek Album Chart at the healthy position of #17 thus:
Trax: "Live 'Til You Die" ~ "Unwritten Sacrifice" ~ "Falling For The Big Plan" ~ "Crying In The Rain" ~ "Too Many Clowns" ~ "Midnight Angel" ~ "The Art Of Compromise" ~ "Don't Fall Asleep" ~ "Wisdom's Had Its Day" ~ "Burning River" ~ "The Valley Of Tears"
Magnum are: Tony Clarkin (Guitars) ~ Bob Catley (Lead vocals) ~ Mark Stanway (Keyboards) ~ Alan Barrow (Bass/backing vocals) ~ Harry James (Drums)
Further details of the band, the album release and the accompanying Magnum European tour can be found via their official website thus: