Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Album Review: MAGNUM - The Serpent Rings

Magnum - The Serpent Rings

01. Where Are You Eden?
02. You Can't Run Faster Than Bullets
03. Madman Or Messiah
04. The Archway Of Tears
05. Not Forgiven
06. The Serpent Rings
07. House Of Kings
08. The Great Unknown
09. Man
10. The Last One On Earth
11. Crimson On The White Sand

Magnum have certainly been prolific in recent years. Song writer and guitarist Tony Clarkin never seems to run out of ideas, and most importantly, I don't think Magnum have ever put out a bad album.

The first single Not Forgiven is a solid Rock song and a little darker than their usual output. I was expecting something a bit more upbeat and commercial for a first single, so this track was a bit of a curveball, albeit a welcome one.

Having heard the whole record, the big thing for me is how much heavier it is than I expected. Obviously, it doesn't sound like Pantera or anything, but by their standards, this one is a sonic sledgehammer. It's still very much a Melodic Rock / AOR album, but it is certainly nice to hear these guys roar a tad more than usual on a few of the songs, and it really suits them.

Opener Where Are You Eden? has one of those epic, powerful choruses that made me love Magnum in the first place. It's classic Magnum, without sounding too similar to anything they've released before.

You Can't Run Faster Than Bullets is a great example of the heaviness I was talking about. This track is reminiscent of 70's Rainbow, and has plenty of bite.

My favourite song on here is probably Madman Or Messiah. It's a hard rocker with a catchy melodic chorus, and undoubtably a future Magnum classic.

Other songs that stood out for me the most are House Of Kings, which is the heavier side of the band again, and has an infectious swagger that I'm sure will make it a live favourite. Also, Man, which is a powerful, epic beast of a track. It has some electronica weaved in, giving it a similar feel to some of their late 80's material.

The Serpent Rings is another strong release, and essential for any existing fan. The fact that they're still releasing albums this good on a fairly regular basis is truly commendable.

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