MAGNUM – In The Valley Of The Moonking

MAGNUM - In The Valley Of The Moonking
  • 8/10
    MAGNUM - In The Valley Of The Moonking - 8/10


Steamhammer / SPV Records
Release date: June 16, 2009

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

The well-known Magnum from Birmingham, England (also the birthplace of one of Metal’s fathers – Black Sabbath) just won’t stop and just like Deep Purple and Uriah Heep they won’t let the age thing decide their career’s fate.

Into The Valley Of The Moonking is yet another breather from the English Melodic Hard Rock / AOR giants. However this album can’t beat the successes of 1982’s Chase The Dragon, 1985’s On A Storyteller’s Night and 1988’s Wings Of Heaven, even though it’s still a wonderful example of how strong the band member’s talent on writing , especially the two major icons , Bob Catley (singer) and the perpetual Tony Clarkin (Guitars).

Magnum is proof that the British started it all , taking almost the same course as Deep Purple and Uriah Heep to spread the promise of Hard Rock , Progressive Rock and even bits of early Heavy Metal.

The true thrill of Magnum is their ability to preserve their late 70s through mid 80s sound and approach. Melodic Hard Rock, as it was done 25-30 years ago, is a musical creation, which is very hard to find. Tony Clarkin’s amazing writing, a skill with years of experience with Magnum, has made a great album.

Nevertheless, alongside the immense melodies, cool keyboard enhancers and of course, the ultimate voice of Bob Catley – this album has its rather repetitive course and to some extent boring sections.

Overall, the pieces of music presented are quite good as they maintain the Magnum way. You won’t have any problem admiring the tunes. On the other hand, a number of songs create the feeling that they may be a bit stuck, however wonderful they are.

Tracks as “In My Mind’s Eye” , “A Face In The Crowd” and “Time To Cross The River” are very nice and they straddle the spirit of early AOR / Hard Rock with finesse .At the side of these tunes the picture gets better with “Cry To Yourself” , “Take Me To The Edge” , “Feels Like Treason” and “All My Bridges”, which can be easily registered as future certified hits and as cool catchy tunes. If you are searching for more depth there are “The Moonking” and “If I Ever Lose My Mind” , these two ,especially the former , portray Magnum’s more or less Progressive side with stories of personal thoughts and the far beyond, these stories are followed by a top class enchanting music.

Additional feature to the album, which depends on the album’s version, is the image of a bonus DVD that contains interviews, live features, lyrics and the band’s artwork of other works. These will let you know what happened behind Into The Valley Of The Moonking and to see Magnum in action, even if you already have.

Magnum’s new release is an impressive album. This one shows that the talent is still there and it will keep on thriving. For classic lovers this one is a great addition. If you dig the force of the 70s and the AOR of the 80s you should keep close to this one.


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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