Review: MAGNUM “The Valley Of Tears – The Ballads”

Review: MAGNUM “The Valley Of Tears – The Ballads”

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MAGNUM “The Valley Of Tears – The Ballads”
Steamhammer / SPV

Younger generation know Bob Catley as part of Avantasia (The Metal Opera Part II, The Scarecrow, The Wicked Symphony, Angel of Babylon, The Flying Opera/Live, The Mystery of Time, Ghostlights).  Older generation know him as lead vocalist of English band Magnum.

Magnum was formed in Birmingham. During the years, band had a lot of line-up changes, but the core of the band Catley and Clarkin resisted. Next year, they will deliver us “The Valley of Tears”, ballads collection.

In 44 years, band delivered 19 albums. “The Valley of Tears” brings us 10 tracks:

  1. Dream About You
  2. Back In Your Arms Again
  3. The Valley of Tears
  4. Broken Wheel
  5. A Face in the Crowd
  6. Your Dreams Won’t Die
  7. Lonley Night
  8. The Last Frontier
  9. Putting Things In Place
  10. When The World Comes Down

Songs are remeastered, re-recorded, remixed. You will find acoustic version of “Lonley Night” and “When The Crowd Comes Down” recorded live.

“The Ballad Collection” is actually an idea of Clarckin’s daughter:

“The release of this album was originally inspired by my daughter. A few months ago she asked me: ´Magnum have so many beautiful quiet numbers, why don’t you put together a compilation highlighting some of the most powerful tracks?` Steamhammer/SPV were immediately taken by the concept, so I set down to work on it.”

The main quilt for art work is Clarkin himself:

“I kept playing the songs in my head, going through possible sequences. In addition, I asked some friends to make suggestions for the track listing because I wanted THE VALLEY OF TEARS to feature an inherent arch of suspense, just like our regular studio albums. A record featuring exclusively quiet numbers has to be complied just as carefully as a regular studio album. Everything has to fit and sound like it’s all of a piece.”

What can we say about collections like this? Do we need them? The answer is yes. For new generation they are needed to get know better this magnificant band, for older generations to refresh their memory.

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