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Magnum - The Visitation CD (album) cover




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3.27 | 37 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars They've still got it!

The Visitation is already Magnum's fifth studio album since their return to the scene in 2002 after an extended break from recording (and there is yet another album coming from them this year!). It is remarkable that the band has been almost as prolific in the new millennium as they were in their heyday of the 70's and 80's! The quality and style of their recent output has also been closer to that of their "golden era" (from 1978's Kingdom Of Madness to 1988's Wings Of Heaven) than to their weak 90's albums. The 2002 come-back album Breath Of Life was particularly strong and the best the band had produced since the 80's. The other recent studio albums too had some good moments but they ultimately left me thinking that Magnum was putting quantity before quality. I did thus not at first have high expectations for the present album.

But after several listens, I must say that The Visitation is definitely a good one, and it even rivals Breath Of Life as the best latter-day Magnum album. Indeed, it exhibits many of the same virtues as did Breath Of Life. It features a strong set of melodic and hard-rocking songs with powerful choruses, a nice balance between ballads and rockers, the lyrics are better than average Magnum with no obviously cringe worthy passages, and of course all of the band's trademarks including the very distinctive lead vocals of Bob Catley.

There are occasional and slight progressive elements on this album, but the progressive aspects reside in the details; some short instrumental parts, some discrete twists and quirks in the songs, etc. (there is, for example, a really cool electronic-sounding little passage in the title track that caught my attention).

Overall, this is a strong Magnum album with hardly a weak moment. It will most probably not convert any of those who completely dismissed the band in the past, but those (like me) who happen like the band will probably like it more than many other albums by the band.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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