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MAGNUM Evolution Steamhammer/SPV (2011)

Magnum

Since Magnum reformed they have put together a consistently strong series of albums for SPV, and set (subtitled Rerecorded, Remastered, Revisited) takes on eight of those tracks partially re-recorded and totally remastered, two tracks from this year's Visitation and adds two brand new ones.

Some of this may seem a tad unnecessary but it does remind you of just how good the more recent material is, especially when most compilations focus on the 80s era.

Opener 'That Holy Touch' is a hard number that almost has a funk feel, while 'Just Like January' is a straighter rock number with more of the band's trademark pomp. Then there's 'Brand New Morning', the title track of the band's 2004 album. This is the band in anthemic mode, and 'When We Were Younger' is one of the best melodic pomp rock tracks you'll ever. Marvellous guitar solo too.

Both Catley and Clarkin sound on form, and right through 'Out Of The Shadows' and 'Blood On your Barbed Wire Thorns' to 'The Fall' and 'Do You Know Who You Are', it's classic Magnum all the way through. Mark Stanway's keyboards stand out too.

Whatever your views on the repackaging, the music is fantastic beginning to end and it's a valuable part of the Magnum collection.

****

Review by Joe Geesin

www.joegeesin.com


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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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