ALBUM REVIEW: Magnum – Here Comes The Rain


This review was submitted before the sad news of the passing of guitarist and band leader Tony Clarkin. Our condolences and best wishes to Tony’s family, friends, and the members of the band.

It only takes a few moments of opener “Run Into The Shadows” to be welcomed with open arms back into Magnum’s world, as the opening guitar motif intertwines with the dancing keyboards and Bob Catley’s distinctive storyteller-cum-favourite-uncle’s-croon transports us into the kingdom of madness once more, forty-six years after Catley and Tony Clarkin recorded the band’s debut album, a fantastic record that laid the groundwork for a marvellous career.

With twenty-two previous albums under their belts, the constants of Catley and Clarkin still continue to shine like the twinkle in an eye. With their calling-card Rodney Matthews fantasy artwork, and familiar sound, there is an element of knowing what you’re getting into, that’s true – but there’s nothing wrong with that, and one of the enduring, and endearing, elements of Magnum’s longevity is their ability and willingness to cover every inch of available ground in the classic melodic space.

So, while Here Comes The Rain (SPV / Steamhammer) may, at first glance, seem that it is comfortable within the band’s well-established Soft Rock oeuvre, it is still, even this deep into their journey, happy to explore the outer-rim, and it is these explorations that provide the perfect seasoning.

In and amongst the more traditional moments and staple rockers, Magnum mix things up; Clarkin slinks us into the cheeky Hard Rockin’ Bluesy shuffle of “Blue Tango”, while even the up-beat rock songs throw the odd curve-ball as “The Seventh Darkness” takes us to brass-town.

“Some Kind Of Treachery” is an elegant piano and swirlingly orchestrated tale, while the title track plays out with a more serious face, Catley narrating us through a darker, mystical tale. “I Wanna Live” and “Borderline” close things out by dancing into more epic stylings, the latter with Clarkin’s trademark licks embellishing, before Rick Benton’s exemplary keys and piano lead us quietly through the rain.

Throughout their career, Magnum has always been a by-word for consistency and quality. Here Comes The Rain continues a fifth decade of strong form started by 2018’s Lost On The Road To Eternity as their fourth album in six years shows that there is no danger of the lights burning out.

The spirit is still guiding them, and in these days of no trust, you know that Magnum won’t let you down.

Buy the album here:
https://magnumband.bandcamp.com/album/here-comes-the-rain

 

7 / 10

STEVE TOVEY