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Magnum - Kingdom Of Madness CD (album) cover




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3.16 | 52 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars The kingdom of Magnum

This debut from Magnum stands out from all their other albums in belonging to a different era. While the rest of the band's output has a sound heavily rooted in the 80's, the present music is more rooted in the 70's. In many ways Kingdom Of Madness might also be Magnum's most progressive album, but that does not mean that it is the best. With its bombastic sound and heavy presence of synthesisers, this sounds quite a lot like Styx at their best and perhaps even like a harder edged, more progressive, and more talented The Sweet! However, I much prefer Magnum over those bands.

All the songs here are good with the sole exception of the utterly tedious Rock 'N' Roll/Boogie of Baby Rock Me which shows bad judgement by its very presence here. Indeed, the album would have been better if they had just dropped this embarrassing number from the track list. The rest are melodic, bombastic, and rather progressive Rock songs with somewhat na´ve but often charming lyrics. Compared with some of what the band would do later on, this is not bad, but it does feel a little bit shallow and immature at times.

The title track has remained in the band's set list until the present day and is a true Magnum classic. It begins with a wonderful, Genesis-like acoustic guitar intro with flute on top. This then leads into a Hard Rock riff and a powerful lead vocal by Bob Catley. The chorus is catchy and the harmony vocals and the guitar solo are strongly reminiscent of early Queen. Some of the guitar work on the rest of the songs is almost Judas Priest/Iron Maiden-like! They clearly knew how to play their instruments!

An interesting fact is that this album was actually recorded in 1976, but wasn't released until 1978. About what might have happened if this had been released in 1976 we can only speculate, but history might have been different. Overall, this album is full of promise, but does not quite reach all the way. Magnum's best was still very much ahead of them at this point.

A good start!

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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