Magnum: The Visitation

What a let-down.

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Anyone who got a copy of the recent Magnum career-spanning anthology The Gathering will know that this band have recorded for some quite brilliant songs and albums over the years.

Unfortunately The Visitation isn’t among them.

While there’s nothing really dreadful here, there’s also nothing that really stands out. The tracks have the superficial hallmarks of Magnum’s illustrious past – decent tunes, interesting lyrics – but the performances are so lacklustre.

Every one starts promisingly but doesn’t hold the attention for long. It’s as if the band are going through the motions, and aren’t quite sure why they’re in the studio.

The only track that makes you want to stick it out is Eyes Like Fire, when at least the band sound like they mean it on a semi-ballad that soars. Singer Bob Catley sounds as if he’s straining at times, and Tony Clarkin’s guitar parts just meander. And for a man who is capable of stunning solos and riffs that’s quite sad.

In all honesty, Magnum haven’t made a strong studio album since they reunited eight years ago. Fans should stick to the glories on The Gathering and avoid disappointment.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.