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Magnum: On The Thirteenth Day

Black Country pomp rockers still breathing fire

With a convoluted yet rarely less than compelling four-decade history, Magnum have enjoyed spells as unlikely Top 30 hitmakers capable of headlining Wembley Arena, reliable yet undervalued pomp-rock warhorses, and just about everything in between.

Amazingly, On The Thirteenth Day is the group’s 16th studio collection and their fifth since taking a break during the 1990s. With thought-provoking lyrics and choruses penned by guitarist and master storyteller Tony Clarkin, delivered with charismatic semaphore arm-waving gusto by Bob Catley, British rock music has few more instantly identifiable acts than Magnum.

As ever, their songs flit between anthemic hard rock (So Let It Rain, Blood Red Laughter, Broken Promises) and heftier, more ludicrous, sci-fi-inspired epics such as See How They Fall and the brooding, riff-tastic Dance Of The Black Tattoo. What else could be realistically expected of a band that not too long ago had the self-mocking temerity to release a song called Dragons Are Real? Titter ye not: in modern terms, Magnum are all but unique – gloriously so.

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.