Magnum
Lost on the Road to Eternity


3.0
good

Review

by Sabrutin USER (37 Reviews)
January 28th, 2018 | 18 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Facing time with (relative) grace.

Sometimes we get the desire to talk about something that we feel it's just not talked about enough, waiting for the first available occasion to tell everybody about it. So let's talk about Magnum. Hailing from Birmingham, the band has been going strong since 1972 releasing album after album with close to none pauses, save for a brief split in the middle of the 90s. Magnum's debuted with Kingdom of Madness in 1978 and now, 40 years later, we get to hear Lost on the Road to Eternity, the band's 20th studio album. The presentation is on point: a very rich and "proggy" artwork connects to the previous album by sharing the same kid as a protagonist, painting an inviting background for an album that offers about 70 minutes of material. Which means, it's their longest studio album to date.

The heart of the band is, as always, made of its two founding members who appeared on every studio album thus far. Namely Tony Clarkin on guitar and main writing duties and Bob Catley on vocals. I'd like to point out that they are respectively 71 and 70. Maybe it's not important, but especially Catley's consistently charismatic vocals deserve to be mentioned. Anyhow, the music admittedly isn't chockful of surprises. It sounds like... modern Magnum, pretty much. Which means that LotRtE offers a solid AOR sound characterized by a rigid rhythm section, anthemic choruses, polished (but still organic) production, and some entertaining progressive rock excursions to break the monotony. In a sense, the main problem may not even be a problem for many fans at this point. Still, predictably, what we are given here is mostly more of the same.

Looking no further than at the first song, "Peaches and Cream" is reminiscent of Sacred Blood "Divine" Lies' opening title track and suffers a weak chorus carried by barren melodies. Not to mention that as a whole the album offers some arguable filler, songs like "Forbidden Masquerade" that come off as wasted space (remember the running time") because devoid of a particular proggy spice and mainly sustained by a pompous chorus. However there are bright moments too. Not to mention that the worst parts of the album aren't awful by any means, and the line-up changes didn't do harm. The drumming for example, as rigid as the modern Magnum sound can be, offers some welcomed subtle playfulness.

A song that surely deserves a mention is "Show Me Your Hands"; the constant piano flourishes and acoustic guitar strumming give colour to an up-beat rocker that offers a very pleasantly relaxed section in which Clarkin lays down a sharp and charismatic electric guitar solo. Another interesting piece is the lengthy "Welcome to the Cosmic Cabaret". Catley's catchy vocals rest upon relatively heavy guitar riffing, but the best part is when the instruments get suddenly playful and then flow into a tranquil, spacey section. From the remaining highlights, a mandatory mention is for the title track: a soaring symphony-filled duet with Avantasia's Tobias Sammet, recorded as a thank you for Catley's inclusion in the last Avantasia album.

The bottom line is that, while it's far from essential, Lost on the Road to Eternity is a respectable release from a band that for about 45 years almost never stopped giving. The title can be interpreted in a pretty obvious way and I wouldn't mind to hear of Magnum again. Newcomers should head for the band's more progressive past of Kingdom of Madness, but I can't imagine any seasoned Magnum fan to get angry at this new work. Possessing both visible pros and visible cons, LotRtE is a perfectly decent offering at this point of Magnum's career.



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user ratings (11)
Chart.
3.4
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Sabrutin
January 28th 2018


5576 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Without Love" (shorter single edit): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2dGUQvHNEE

Stream on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/0NScaJadBWm2eXRwDMavlN

My highlights: "Show Me Your Hands", "Welcome to the Cosmic Cabaret", "Lost on the Road to Eternity", "King of the World","Tell Me What You've Got to Say", "Storm Baby".

Couldn't find my highlights on YouTube :[



I wanted to review something, so why not. I was (still am?) teetering between a 3 and a 2.5 but considering that I'm stingy compared to a lot of users I decided that a 3 would fit better for the review. I'll try and see if I can catch these dudes live in April

Dewinged
January 28th 2018


10896 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great review Sab. It is incredible that these guys are still running and the album is quite decent.

Digging: Basement Revolver - Heavy Eyes

Divaman
January 29th 2018


2643 Comments


Wow, for a band that's been around this long, these guys are virtually unknown in the U.S.

Digging: ho-ro - Hex

e210013
January 29th 2018


2018 Comments


I've heard talk about this band since a while. Still, I never checked none of their albums. But you called my attention to them again. Decidedly, I need to put them in my future list of bands to check.
Great work, Sabrutin. Pos.

Sabrutin
January 29th 2018


5576 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thank you for the votes!



"I've heard talk about this band since a while. Still, I never checked none of their albums. But you called my attention to them again. Decidedly, I need to put them in my future list of bands to check."

I recommend to check Kingdom of Madness. It flows like a 40 minutes suite and it's arguably their most progressive rock album, though some songs are very poppy. It sounds a bit like early Queen to me. If you want just a taste of it I'd recommend the songs "In the Beginning" and "The Bringer"

e210013
January 29th 2018


2018 Comments


Thanks Sabrutin. I'm going to follow your advice.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
January 29th 2018


11154 Comments


Great review Sab, pos.

I really respect these guys' knack for creating nice melodies and the fact that they seem to be so productive even at this age. But damn, they should have edited and trimmed the fat a bit more because other than background music, this is a bit tiresome. Apart from that, not a bad record at all.

Digging: Crucifixion (GBr) - Green Eyes

Sabrutin
January 29th 2018


5576 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks! If you want to hear more my suggestion is the same as e21's. Also, if you like this current sound the last album is about 15 minutes shorter though it is less proggy, songs like t/t, Quiet Rhapsody and Afraid of the Night are worth a spin

manosg
Staff Reviewer
January 29th 2018


11154 Comments


I've actually checked 5 of their albums and even though I'm not a huge fan of their sound, I really enjoy their music especially as background while working. I just wish the cover art on some of their albums matched the actual music more.

Sabrutin
January 29th 2018


5576 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Haha yeah I feel you. I'd say this one kinda does in the proggiest moments. Anyway in case you haven't heard that one my rec for Kingdom of Madness will always be there

manosg
Staff Reviewer
January 29th 2018


11154 Comments


No I haven't checked Kingdom of Madness so I'll give it a try soon. I'm pretty sold on your early Queen description haha.

TheIntruder
January 29th 2018


392 Comments


It seems to be an interesting album. I need to check it. I like the cover.

Dewinged
January 29th 2018


10896 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's a decent hard rock album. The title track with the Edguy singer is soooo cheesy.

Sabrutin
January 30th 2018


5576 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's pretty cheesy but as long as this kind of bands stay away from the big ballads anything is welcomed by me.



I feel the most interesting tracks here are Welcome to the Cosmic Cabaret and Show Me Your Hands

patmull
February 2nd 2018


1 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I didn't really like this album that much it was hard rock mediocore but then I heard it several more times and it somehow opened the secret chamber. It was like WOW this is really good actualy! That bridge in Show Me Your Hands -- you know that one with hang drum or handpan or whatever shit it was -- that was totaly genius moment! Title song is great too, "Welcome to the Cosmic Cabaret" very strong in building climax also "Without Love" is though cheesy as hell good and really cute with that old school hard rock recorded on today's equipment. Also "Tell Me What You've Got to Say" with interesting melody and powerful "Storm Baby" with change of tempo after first third of the song is great. Shame is that album is so repetitive and choruses are sometimes too weak, because these guys definitely has experences and qualities to offer!

Sabrutin
February 3rd 2018


5576 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great comment, you mentioned most of my highlights and captured the same way I feel. I'd add King of the World to the songs you mentioned, pretty dynamic song. Honestly my only problem with Storm Baby is that to me the chorus sounds a bit like a slower version of Princess in Rags off the last album and I can't shake off that feeling

Darius
February 3rd 2018


17175 Comments


I misread the title and thought Jeff Mangum made a solo record for a moment

Sabrutin
February 4th 2018


5576 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'll stick with Magnum tbh



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