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Magnum - 'Escape From The Shadow Garden' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/3b/18/ff/magnum-escape-from-the-shadow-garden-69-1394055245.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 05, 2014    
 
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Go and get it, you won't be disappointed.

When I think about Magnum, I feel that, as a band, they have been around as long as I have. I remember them playing in the 1970s and I feel that musically, I have grown up with them. Two questions you still have to ask is, for a band that has been around so long, how do they still manage to come up with quality material and why haven't they got bigger? Well, the answer to both questions is I don't know.

After forty two years together (minus the six years of the off-shoot band Hard Rain), this is the eighteenth album, so you can't deny that their career has been a success. This album has lots of different textures, from the orchestral beginning of 'Live 'Till You Die', to the heads down, no nonsense R&R of 'Too Many Clowns' (with some almost Rag Time/Jazz piano near the end).

Any Magnum fan will know what I mean by "a classic Magnum song" and we have them on here, especially 'Unwritten Sacrifice,' 'Falling For The Big Plan' and 'Wisdom's Had Its Day' which starts with a rather strange chord sequence before opening out into a massive chorus which gets even bigger towards the end; I would love to hear this in 5:1. There's some really nice piano from Marc Stanway at the beginning of 'The Art Of Compromise' which turns into a bit of a stomper, before things calm down with 'Don't Fall Asleep,' which is almost a ballad with a soaring chorus.

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At the present moment, 'Midnight Angel' is my favourite song from '...Garden', with Harry James laying down a pseudo-tribal beat at the start to compliment another big sounding song. 'The Art Of Compromise' starts off like a ballad but quickly turns into another foot stomper, while 'Burning River' returns to heads down, no nonsense territory and is rescued from the "less than special" section by the mid song keyboard/guitar break which lifts it up a little. It is by no means a weak song, but just doesn't seem to hit home as strong as the others. 'The Valley Of Tears' is the massive Magnum ballad that we expect to hear on every album and the one where everybody will take out their lighters and sway.

'Escape From The Shadow Garden' is another album that Magnum can be proud of, and one which I have found that, every time I listen to it, different things open out to me. There are tracks on here that get better and better the more you listen to them which is always a good sign. I also haven't heard as many guitar solos from Tony Clarkin for a long time as I heard on this album, and that's also got to be a good thing. In short, go and get it, you won't be disappointed.

Andy Brailsford

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