It has been 46 years since the birth of British rockers, Magnum. In their infancy, it was not an easy task for founding members Tony Clarkin (guitar, songwriter) and Bob Catley (vocals) in keeping their dream alive. After playing in clubs and releasing a single in 1975, their ascent to fame did not begin until 1977 when (still without a record label) they opened for Judas Priest. Finally in 1978, as a five-piece outfit, they signed with Jet Records releasing their debut album, Kingdom Of Madness. Reaching #58 on the UK Chart, Clarkin and Catley‘s dream finally broke through. The journey didn’t stop there as their live show crossed the ocean to play a few shows in the US, supporting Ozzy Osbourne in the summer of 1982. This ended up being the only time Magnum played outside of Europe.
I found their sixth release Vigilante in 1986 in my local record store. Thinking this is a really cool mystical record cover with a unicorn, I decided to make the purchase to find out what this group was all about. I played that LP often and didn’t take long to get their back catalog.
Fast forward to 2018, Magnum will release their 20th studio album Lost On The Road To Eternity. Often changing members of the band, they have now added two new members for this release. Welcoming Lee Morris – drums (2017) and Rick Benton – keyboards (2017). Completing the group is Al Barrow – bass guitar, backing vocals (2001).
As a fan for thirty-two years, I am always delighted to hear new music from this highly underrated British band.
Lost on the Road to Eternity has eleven new songs with special guest Tobias Sammet from Edguy/Avantasia on the title track. Catley has appeared on a handful of Avantasia tracks over the years. I have never seen Magnum live, but I did see Catley perform with Avantasia at Sweden Rock Festival 2016. His remarkable vocals had me wired up for setting my goal to see them live before they retire.
MAGNUM – Lost on the Road to Eternity
Starting off the CD is the powerful rock riff in “Peaches and Cream“. This song sets the mood for the album with all the aspects of a Magnum release and more.
Getting back to the title track “Lost On The Road To Eternity” Catley and Sammet continue where they left off from their Avantasia duets. This track is enhanced by the marvelous arrangement courtesy of The Wolf Kerschek Orchestra.
The first single, “Without Love“, has a classic sound with a modern vibe.
Throughout the album, you will hear the vintage rock riffs of Clarkin with frequent changes in tempo, familiar to the fans of previous releases. “Storm Baby” and “Forbidden Masquerade” fit very well in this sound.
With the final track “King Of The World”, Clarkin‘s bluesy guitar vibe compliments the song. Fulfilling a time-honored CD release.
I believe this is one of their best releases in many years. Without a weak track, Lost On The Road To Eternity is a wonderful listen from start to finish.
Shawn “Animalize” Irwin