I was so disappointed by the first ever performance of Magnum in Athens, Greece in 2018. Bob Catley wasn’t in good shape and no matter how I admired the rest of the band I could’t stop thinking about the singer’s poor delivery.
What I listen to the new album “The Serpent Rings”… sounds like Magnum from their glory days! Superb songs, great playing, Bob’s singing is very good, the production is fresh and modern and Rick Benton puts down great keyboards that at some moments are truly astonishing. All of the above are quite impressive if you come to think that this band will soon reach it’s 50th anniversary having already released 20 albums.
Of course, some may say that in the studio you can do wonders nowadays and I have to agree, but technology and its magic tricks won’t write the music themselves. That’s something Tony Clarkin can brag about; that’s the quality of his work and the consistency to this quality. Because, after the band made its comeback in 2001, after the break with Hard Rain, they release an album almost every two years, which is usually good, or even very good. I’d say that I liked better “The Serpent Rings” compared to their 3-4 previous ones mostly because its best songs are better than those of the others.
Nowadays we cannot estimate the appeal of an album with commercial values and chart positions, some folks do that with streams and downloads but that’s mainly for tracks, not entire albums. But, I think that the rock historian of the future might put this album next to the band’s classics. Why not?
PS: I will never forget the moment when as we were doing the interview with Tony Clarkin he took out a piece of paper and read the lyrics of “Madman Or Messiah” in front of the camera… (check it out here).