Magnum, Escape From The Shadow Garden, 2014
Don’t know what it is, but ever since coming back after the Hard Rain period, Magnum seem to regain strength with every release. I have always liked their albums, but not all output can fully compete with their heyday, the Storyteller / Vigilante era. That is, until this. To me the culmination of their current run is Escape From The Shadow Garden, as this is a very inspired and energetic album. Tony Clarkin has not only come up with some great riffs and wonderful songs, but has also rediscovered his guitar solos. Bob Catley sounds fresh and vital and above all as valid as ever. So together with their loyal crew of Harry James (drums), Al Barrow (Bass) and Mark Stanway (keyboards) they show the young guns what it takes to have a 30+ year career and still rock!
Songs like Live ‘Till You Die, Unwritten Sacrifice, Falling For The Big Plan or Crying In The Rain sit at home with their back catalogue with ease. Fill in the blanks, I like this album from start to finish. It brings a smile on my face, and I can hear this over and over. And it is also great to see that their long relationship with cover designer Rodney Matthews is also still on.
Instant classic if you ask me, so essential to anyone that likes his rock with a bit of a prog twist.