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Magnum - 'Here Comes The Rain'



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“No more sleep through the night, no light through the dark, that’s not rain on the ground, smoke and fire will leave its deadly mark...” It’s the kind of lyric that could only come from the pen of Tony Clarkin, and is part of the orchestral ballad ‘Broken City’, a dark and haunting observation of Aleppo in Syria that is one of the standout cuts of ‘Here Comes The Rain’, the twenty-second studio album from UK Rock stalwarts Magnum. War and its effects has always been a source of inspiration for Clarkin, indeed the moving yet anthemic title-track is also cut from the same cloth, this time with Ukraine as its reference.


I don’t subscribe to the notion that the more recent Magnum albums are too slow-paced; both Clarkin and vocalist Bob Catley are now in their mid-seventies, and they’ve never been all about lively Hard Rock bluster anyway, so I think it would be unreasonable to expect an album of ten ‘Just Like An Arrow’s these days. For me, Magnum’s strongest appeal has always been in the drama of their more atmospheric and moving songs, and that’s where ‘The Day He Lied’, the slow- burning ‘Borderline’, the ballad ‘Some Kind Of Treachery’ and the aforementioned title-track are so engaging, enveloped as they are in sweeping arrangements and evoking strong imagery.


That all said, there’s certainly no shortage of livelier numbers here; opener ‘Run

Into The Shadows’ and ‘After The Shadows’ are catchy-as-hell, pacey rockers with more than a hint of eighties-styled keyboards from Rick Benton, the jaunty ‘The Seventh Darkness’ bounces along buoyantly thanks to its brass accompaniment, ‘I Wanna Live’ alternates between smoother verses and a harder, rockier chorus, while first single ‘Blue Tango’ is a joyous, rollicking Rock ‘n’ Roll anthem driven along on a spirited Hard Rock guitar riff; the newish rhythm section of drummer Lee Morris and bassist Dennis Ward are creating a formidable partnership, and this is the track where they can really stretch out and enjoy themselves.


Due to Clarkin and Catley’s advancing years, there’s always some trepidation that each new Magnum could potentially be their swansong; I truly hope this isn’t the case here because they’ve still got so much more to give, but if it should be, then ‘Here Comes The Rain’ would be one hell of a way to bow out.


 

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