Magnum – The Serpent Rings
The vitamin injection Magnum got after the departure of long time member and keyboard genius Mark Stanway caught me off guard. Having almost given up on one of my longest lasting heroes in rock after the sleepy Sacred Blood “Divine” Lies (2016), I was completely unprepared for the vitality in Lost On The Road To Eternity (2017). Of course, it was no new On A Storytellers Night, but it proved that Magnum still could make albums that felt worth buying not only for old merits, but also for hearing the new tracks. When they followed up that album with the magical live double Live From The Shadow Hall (2018), I was completely astonished. Most because of the fact that an album consisting almost only of the bands recent material could sound so great och lovable. In a matter of fact, it was the best Magnum album since the 80’s, and made me rethink the whole of the bands catalogue of the 2000’s!
So my expectations on The Serpent Rings was for it to keep up that touch, especially seeing how they have went through another switch of members (this time, bass player Al Barrow has been replaced by Dennis Ward). It doesn’t have to be a new classic, it just need it to be a really good album with vitality and the right Magnum feel. And it doesn’t take many seconds into the stormingly intense opening track Where Are You Eden? for me to feel satisfied. This is just what I hoped for, and I could even argue this is even a little stronger than the last album! There are many really good tracks and a lot of emotion and strength throughout The Serpent Rings. Just listen to the emotion in the title track or the subtle 80’s keyboards in The Great Unknown… It’s beautiful!
So thank you Magnum! I have always loved you, but I’m so glad that I once again get to hear you making new albums that doesn’t stay at a brief “okay” and then gets lost in my record collection. Lost On The Road To Eternity still gets to spin in my CD player once in a while, and I can’t wait til The Serpent Rings comes out so I can do the same with this one. And who knows? Once I get to dive into this album completely and know these tunes better, I may like it even more! We’ll see…
Title: The Serpent Rings
Date of release: 17/1-20
Standout track: Where Are You Eden?