MAGNUM – On The 13th Day

Magnum - On The Thirteenth DayMagnum have been one productive band since their reunion in 2002. This album album is their sixth since the band reunited and it’s refreshing to see a band that just doesn’t try to live on past glories, but moves forward constantly and doesn’t give in on quality.  Magnum used to be a huge band in the 80’s. At least in Europe.  Albums like On A Storyteller’s Night, Vigilante and Wings Of Heaven sold massive quantities, but the since the band had never sold much of anything in the US, the next logical step was, of course, to try to do just that. But instead of keeping true to the style that had worked so well for them in Europe, they made the sound on their next CD Goodnight L.A. (even that title really says it all…) more American. Bad choice. The Americans still didn’t get it and their new sound didn’t work out that well in Europe. It took them only two more albums, Sleepwalking and Rock Art, which both felt tired and unfocused, without actually being bad, before the band split up in 1995.

With their last album trilogy, Princess Alice And The Broken Arrow, In The Valley Of The Moonking and The Visitation, showed a band that felt alive, hungry and devoted to take back what had been lost in the nineties. Those albums were very strong and were sound wise back to the glory days of the 80’s, just a bit updated and showed that Magnum was back in the game for real. With their new album they have proved that nothing of that has changed and and the material on here are as strong as ever. “All The Dreamers” is fantastic with a killer riff and a classic Magnum melody, “Blood Red Laughter” is just brilliant and so catchy it hurts, “Didn’t Like You Anyway” takes us back to the real old times, before Storyteller and shows their more progressive roots, the title track and “So Let It Rain” both have single written all over them, going into more classic poppy Magnum stuff and “Dance Of The Black Tattoo” is a real killer, heavy shit with metal influences, but still very Magnum! “Shadow Town” might just have the hook of the year. If you can get that one out of your mind, your brain is probably blank. The album closes with “From Within”, an amazing half ballad, the way only Magnum does them.

To be honest, every song on this album is a winner. Even the worst song here is good. Maybe if you’re one of those who think that Magnum lost it all with Storyteller, you might think this one is weak, but on the other hand, there isn’t that many of you out there. This is by far the best Magnum album since Wings Of Heaven (1988) and I must say I find it remarkable that with so many years in the busness, Tony Clarkin seems to have a never ending stream of ideas for great songs flowing out of him. If you’re a Magnum fan and believe that Magnum’s career kick started for real with A Storyteller’s Night, then there isn’t that much to think about. This is one album that you can buy without hearing one note of beforehand.

Jon Wilmenius (9/10)

01. All The Dreamers
02. Blood Red Laughter
03. Didn’t Like You Anyway
04. On The 13th Day
05. So Let It Rain
06. Dance Of The Black Tattoo
07. Shadow Town
08. Putting Things In Place
09. Broken Promises
10. See How They Fall
11. From Within

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