Established over fifty years ago, Magnum is a Rock-n-Roll band with an expansive, interesting history. Out of England, their sound has shifted through the decades, but they have always walked the line of Heavy Rock music with symphonic elements that have inspired the Heavy Metal world. In fact, in their early days they toured with everyone from Judas Priest (prior to the release of their 1978 debut album Kingdom of Madness), to Ozzy Osbourne in ’82 (supporting the signature album Chase the Dragon). Beyond this, bands like Germany’s Edguy have covered their music, and Symphonic Black Metal leader Dimmu Borgir was influenced by them for the epic 1996 album Stormblåst.
Influences that should not be overlooked, Magnum initially sustained twenty-three very active years before parting ways in 1995. However, this would not be the end, because Vocalist Bob Catley and Guitarist Tony Clarkin relaunched the band in 2001, returning a year later in 2002 with Magnum’s twelfth studio album Breath of Life. From here it has been a busy second chapter in the Magnum storybook; with a steady release of music over the last twenty years. Remaining prolific, in 2020 they released The Serpents Rings, followed by The Monster Roars in 2022, but now they return for more in 2024 with Here Comes the Rain.
Astoundingly their twenty-third overall studio album, Here Comes the Rain arrives on January 12th through Steamhammer/SPV. A rather inspiring collection of music with a clear theme surrounding it, joining Catley and Clarkin are Keyboardist Rick Benton, former Pink Cream 69’s Bassist Dennis Ward, and former Paradise Lost Drummer Lee Morris. Really an all-star cast of players, the album is progressive, diverse, and colorful with tints of dark undertone.
As mentioned, having a distinctive theme to the music, it is obvious that Clarkin, the band’s key songwriter, had a lot weighing on his mind. Understandable considering the unstable state of the world, much of Here Comes the Rain pleads for peace amidst people at one another’s throats, but also wars of death and destruction that have been waged around the world in recent years. Heartful, the mood is somber at times, but there is a sense of hope even in the bleakest of outlooks that lie ahead. Furthermore, the vibe is not overly preachy, but more one of understanding how precious life truly is.
These factors all considered, the album presents itself with ten tracks that are really quite diverse. Among them all, some that instantly grab your attention are “Run Into The Shadows,” the title-track, “Some Kind of Treachery,” and “After The Silence.” This is while “Blue Tango” is uniquely more upbeat, “The Day He Lied” really provokes emotion, and “I Wanna Live” offers ample inspiration to carry on… even with a heavy heart.
Overall, Here Comes the Rain is an exceptional Hard Rock album that manages to interject a plethora of elements while not losing focus in the process. Featuring really right-on vocals from Catley, who pours it all out, the grand feeling of much of these songs harks you back to peak days of Album-Oriented Rock. A great set that brings light and clarity during bleak times, Cryptic Rock gives Here Comes the Rain 4.5 out of 5 stars.