Thursday, January 13, 2011

MAGNUM: "The Visitation"

Rating: 5/10

Label: SPV/Steamhammer 2011

Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Magnum - it's been hits and misses ever since their comeback really!!! To each and every great album there's been a real turkey (in my personal and very humble opinion of course), and thus why I really wished and hoped for a winner this time. No such luck though, "The Visitation", could merely be described as a rather dull and average Magnum album. It's all been done before and better I may add, by this Birmingham act, one of my all-time fave "soft-rock" bands in the past.

Nope, I'm sorry, but... Tony "The Hat" Clarkin doesn't impress and it's perhaps time to let someone else have a go at songwriting? Or at least co-writing??? It's like you're listening to one of all those really poor TEN albums where it's all a blur of dodgy melodies and ditto arrangements. There's nothing new or exciting in terms of sound and it's a shame when you're thinking: "sure, that's a decent first track" and it turns out to be one of the best songs off the album. Prior to the hard hitting guitar riff, which the opening track "Black Skies" is based around, there's a slow, up-building keyboard intro by Mark Stanway that oozes of long gone days, perhaps even "Chase The Dragon" material. The refrain on the other hand is very dark and twenty eleven. The real star on this platter, Mr. Bob "The Cat" Catley!!! His voice is ever so present as usual and also the main reason to why I didn't fall asleep at times.

It's obviously all very professional done and executed and old fans will always find something to cheer about. Yours truly is especially fond of tracks such as "Wild Angels" and "Mother Nature's Final Dance". On the other tip of the scale, "The Last Frontier", it sounds more like a third rate ballad 'ala ABBA, while "Tonight's The Night" is just bland, bland, bland (and the same goes for several other tracks). Perhaps I'm being extra harsh on the band since I expect so much more and better? To be honest, I even spent another week or two of listening to the CD, desperately trying to find the secret ingredient and reason to why some reviewers are saying this is one of Magnum's best albums??? They must have been listening to a completely different CD (well, it's always "their" fault, huh?).



  1. It's certainly not up there with the better ones, that's for sure.

  2. As a lifelong Magnum fan it saddens me to say I can see why the album got mixed reviews.
    Yes, for sure there are 2 or 3 instant stand-out tracks, but the rest are just mediocre ( on first listen).
    I have now listened to the album in its entirity a handful of times now , and admittedly some of the mediocre songs are starting toslowly grow on me....( BUT, don't forget, I'm biased towards Magnum).
    All in all its a fair review.
    *saying that, you have to go a long way to top a Magnum live show, and I'm sure 4 or 5 songs from the album will fit VERY nicely into their set-list.