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will release their new album
‘The Monster Roars’
The Monster Roars
All You Believe In
I Won’t Let You Down
The Present Not The Past
No Steppin’ Stones
That Freedom Word
Your Blood Is Violence
Walk The Silent Hours
The Day After The Night Before
Come Holy Men
Can’t Buy Yourself Heaven
Tony Clarkin – Guitar
Bob Catley – Vocals
Rick Benton – Keyboards
Dennis Ward – Bass
Lee Morris – Drums
It’s a sign of definite quality when a band can look back at a career which started as early as 1972 (!) and are still capable of thoroughly awing their fans with every new album.
Magnum deliver this kind of quality on a regular basis and are set to prove their outstanding position once again with their latest studio offering ‘The Monster Roars’.
Even after difficult months marked by pandemic-related concert cancellations, contact restrictions and uncertain perspectives for the whole music industry, the English rock act have succeeded in creating a vibrant, homogeneous work that impresses its listeners from the first to the last note and includes a number of surprises.
‘The Monster Roars’ kicks off with a real bang:
opening with the title track, Magnum make it unmistakably clear that the group’s current line-up consisting of Bob Catley (vocals), Tony Clarkin (guitar), Rick Benton (keyboards), Dennis Ward (bass) and Lee Morris (drums) is bursting with enthusiasm.
Especially the signing of American bassist Dennis Ward (ex-Pink Cream 69, Unisonic, Place Vendome) has proved to be an absolute stroke of luck.
“Unfortunately, we havent been able to play live with Dennis yet as all concerts had to be cancelled or postponed due to the lockdown. But we’ve already rehearsed intensively with him and were delighted to discover that he not only plays a first-rate bass but also provides fantastic backing vocals,”
explains Tony Clarkin and adds:
“Dennis has catapulted the band to another level in a number of ways. Were looking forward to our first live shows with him and are certain that our fans will be as excited about Dennis as we are.”
The title track, however, is only the prelude to a recording that features solid rock numbers such as ‘Remember’, ‘The Present Not The Past’, ‘The Day After The Night Before’ and ‘That Freedom Word’ as well as atmospheric ballad track ‘Walk The Silent Hours’ and midtempo ‘Can’t Buy Yourself Heaven’, with the anthemic ‘All You Believe In’ bringing to mind Queen and ‘No Steppin’ Stones’ sparkling with an amazing brass section.
Magnum’s lyrics are also (almost) all about the present, as song titles such as ‘Your Blood Is Violence’, ‘Come Holy Men’ or ‘Cant Buy Yourself Heaven’ prove.
“This album is more about social subjects, including political issues.”
No doubt about it:
‘The Monster Roars’ is a well tempered mixture of typical Magnum trademarks, contemporary influences and trailblazing approaches which are guaranteed to win the band lots of new fans.
‘The Monster Roars’ will be available from 14 January 2022 as a CD DigiPak, 2-LP gatefold, limited box set and – exclusively from the Steamhammer online shop – CD/LP and T-shirt bundle.
The first single (including lyric video) ‘I Won’t Let You Down’ has been released on 12 November 2021.
The second single ‘No Steppin’ Stones’, also supported by a lyric video, is scheduled to follow five weeks later, on 17 December 2021.
The cover artwork, which is rather unusual for Magnum, was photographed by Rob Barrow, brother of former Magnum bassist Al Barrow, and is continued in the conceptual booklet.
And last but not least: In addition to the twelve songs on the regular album, Magnum offer three bonus tracks as part of a limited box set, including a new version of ‘Days Of No Trust’, the opener of their 1988 album classic ‘Wings Of Heaven’, and new remastered version of ‘Sweets For My Sweet’, their very first single release from 1975, as well as a previously unreleased track from the same era.
So theres lots of exciting stuff to be discovered on ‘The Monster Roars’.
As we’ve come to expect from this exceptionally creative band!
‘Dance Of The Black Tattoo’
Black Skies (live)
Freedom Day (live)
All My Bridges (live)
On A Storyteller’s Night (live)
Dance Of The Black Tattoo (live)
On Christmas Day (radio edit)
Born To Be King
Phantom Of Paradise Circus
No God Or Saviour
Your Dreams Won’t Die (live)
Twelve Men Wise And Just (live)
Show Me Your Hands (radio edit)
Not Forgiven (radio edit)
Madman or Messiah (radio edit)
It’s been three years since Magnum brought out The Valley Of Tears – The Ballads, a compilation that focused on the British rock act’s quiet, more otherworldly and dreamy side.
Three years during which the idea matured to follow this successful release (top 100 of the German album charts) with a companion piece.
Dance Of The Black Tattoo has turned into exactly that:
a collection of songs that present Magnum exclusively as tough-as-nails rocking and extremely vibrant musicians.
What makes this album, available from 8 January 2021 on Steamhammer/SPV on CD, double LP and for digital download, so special is the fact that Magnum have gone through their impressive archive, looking for rare live cuts and outstanding radio versions and have come up with spirited live recordings and edits that concentrate on the essential components of some of their most accomplished rock numbers.
Naturally, guitarist and band mastermind Tony Clarkin has used this opportunity to remaster and update all 14 tracks so that they comply with the state-of-the-art of (sound) technology.
“There have always been two aspects to Magnum: a slightly more tender and lyrical facet, but first and foremost of course our powerful, rocking side. And that’s the element that Dance Of The Black Tattoo documents impressively.”
The album kicks off with live versions of ‘Black Skies’ and ‘Freedom Day’, previously available exclusively as DVD bonus tracks on Escape From The Shadow Garden.
“The perfect launch of this compilation because they present Magnum musically and lyrically from our familiar raw side. The subsequent ‘All My Bridges’ is a little different in that the music is still heavy, but the lyrics are more poetic,”
explains Clarkin, whose dynamic guitar style has harmonized perfectly with Magnum vocalist Bob Catley’s warm and charismatic voice for almost fifty (!) years.
‘On A Storyteller’s Night’, the title track of their 1985 masterpiece, and ‘Dance Of The Black Tattoo’ are another two rare live tracks from the bonus section of Escape From The Shadow Garden, followed by radio edits of their seasonal anti-war number ‘On Christmas Day’ and the fan favourite ‘Born To Be King’ off their classic Goodnight L.A., previously only available on vinyl or for digital download, followed by ‘Phantom Of Paradise Circus’ and ‘No God Or Saviour’, both bonus tracks from Sacred Blood – Divine Lies.
“To be honest, when I started going through those old masters, I didn’t even have ‘Phantom Of Paradise Circus’ on my radar. I usually start working on new material about four weeks after the release of an album, so occasionally a song may sink into oblivion although it has a lot of substance and class. Such as ‘Phantom Of Paradise Circus’. I really love that number and am happy that it is getting the attention it deserves at last.”
‘Your Dreams Won’t Die’ and ‘Twelve Men Wise And Just’ are two live bonus tracks which first featured on Lost On The Road To Eternity, before ‘Show Me Your Hands’, ‘Not Forgiven’ and ‘Madman Or Messiah’ – three previously unreleased radio edits from the still topical studio recordings Lost On The Road To Eternity (2018) and The Serpent Rings (2020) – round off the new release.
“Sometimes it’s not easy to shorten a carefully balanced composition for the radio, but in these three cases it worked really well,”
Talking of working well:
Naturally the artwork of Dance Of The Black Tattoo was designed by Magnum‘s tried-and-tested cover artist Rodney Matthews, who always succeeds in translating the special ambience of the British rock group’s albums into atmospheric images and colours.
“This time it was easy really: I called Rodney, told him the album title and he sent me this absolutely fascinating artwork. I bet our fans will love his little masterpiece.”
Having said that, Clarkin is sure to win this kind of bet for the whole of ‘Dance Of The Black Tattoo’.