Hometown heroes Magnum returned to Birmingham last year whilst touring in support of their most recent record, the result is Live At The Symphony Hall. Forty-four years into their stellar career, and Magnum continue to deliver.
“When We Were Younger,” comes floating in like a dream, strong keyboard melodies, soaring into being, with the vocals delivering a crunch, and the guitars delivering a thump. “Sacred Blood, Divine Lies,” a thumping anthem for all ages. Bringing serious riffs, and crowd participation to the max. “Lost On The Road To Eternity,” features Tobias Sammett of Edguy and Avantasia, and is an amazing masterpiece with some soaring melodies and glorious and bounding vocal parts. “Crazy Old Mothers,” a slower number, with reflection of the past and an absolutely smashing drum beat taking things to the next level. “Without Love,” a fascinating dip into the eighties and nary a person seems disappointed here. “Your Dreams Won’t Die,” a slow thoughtful song. “Peaches and Cream,” a rocker in the seventies mould. This absolute ripper moves and dances, bringing some searing melodies to the fore. “How Far Jerusalem,” a marching anthem, bringing the glories of the world to the masses, whilst mourning the passing of those who came before. Deep down in London town after all.
“Les Morts Dansant,” this reviewer’s favourite song by Magnum. It is as good as when I saw them live in 2017. The haunting story of the men who suffering from shell shock or PTSD were brought low by their own government. Lined up to die for the simple crime of being traumatised by the things their superiors had no balls to do. “What a night though he’s one of seven, what a night for the dancing dead, what a night to be called to heaven, what a picture to fill your head.’ Such mastery, such beautiful poetry such as you will rarely find. “Show Me Your Hands,” a thunderous opus bringing the modern elements with the old, and showing everyone just how good Magnum are. “All England’s Eyes,” another soaring anthem. The hits keep on coming, punching their way through and ensuring that the listener is enraptured. You truly get the feeling that this is a band not near enough done. “Vigilante,” another hit from the past. Strong as it was then, it brings more edge, and furious energy. “Don’t Wake The Lion,” another song of World War 1, The Great War as it was known. Slowly bringing the tragedy of it all to life, and capturing the listener once more. “The Spirit,” soars, Bob Catley along with it. The piano work flitters into being and dances to the edge. “When The World Comes Down,” slows things down and brings the edge to life.
The album is out on 18th January via Steahammer/SPV be sure to check it out!