Magnum - Sacred Blood ''Divine'' Lies

(CD/LP, SPV/Steamhammer, 2016)

No matter how much aggression can be added in Metal, there will always be a special place in the heart of every metalhead for the classic stuff. I am talking about the kind of music that is based on strong melodies, killer guitar leads and most expressional vocals. This type of music lasts forever and this is why all the classics are made of those fine elements. To my mind - and I believe there are many out there thinking alike - MAGNUM is a most reliable source of such music that proudly stands under the Hard Rock genre with a Progressive twist that lives and breathes inside the rich keyboard melodies. On top of this, MAGNUM keep revisiting the studio, releasing a new LP in an impressive rate of one album per two years. And the best thing with this band is that quantity and quality go hand-in-hand, with “Sacred Blood “Divine” Lies” being another solid proof of evidence.

Yeah, the opening guitar arpeggios of the album’s title track leave absolutely no space for doubt that Hard Rock is the main course being served hot and, most importantly, super tasty. Soon enough, Bob Catley joins Tony Clarkin’s guitar magic and together speak directly to your Hard Rock heart before welcoming the foot-tapping groove delivered by the drums and the awesomely sounding bass. Everything is in place and carries the sweet nostalgia of those days when music was made with less distortion and effects and lots of emotion. I don’t want to sound like a grumpy old man but I miss songs like this one, so I am extremely happy that MAGNUM are this active. The keyboards take the lead on my album favorite “Gypsy Queen” and help the lyrics to paint the pictures Mr. Catley describes. The melodies and the slower tempo change places on the driver’s seat with the rockin’ riff and the hard hitting groove before climaxing via the absolutely fantastic solo. You see, I have a sweet tooth for guitar solos that flow on top of the main melody and this is awesome. “Afraid Of The Dark” is the immediate star of the tracklist, being the definition of MAGNUM’s Hard Rock; the main melody sticks to mind on the spot and, honestly, this song gave me some URIAH HEEP goosebumps with the lyricism and (always) amazing vocal lines (pay additional attention to Bob’s harsher voice). Of course, the production and mix of this album is top notch, so the music sounds natural and if you use some high-end headphones, you’ll enjoy all the small details that make a huge difference, like the backing vocals and the bass lines which have their own voice. At first, the piano melodies make “Twelve Men Wise And Just” look like a cliché ballad but wait until the catchy chorus where I bet an arm and a leg that you’ll be lip singing or just humming along before the end of the first spin. According to my book, this stuff gives to this type of Hard Rock the everlasting quality, making it a potential classic to withstand the test of time.

I totally enjoyed “Sacred Blood “Divine” Lies” although I didn’t expect something less than awesome from MAGNUM who are writing really good music like it’s the most natural thing to do. I guess this happens when a musician is doing this because it feels right and not because he is on a specific payroll and has to satisfy some customers. This is definitely recommended and keep in mind that it comes on vinyl too.





01. Sacred Blood "Divine" Lies
02. Crazy Old Mothers
03. Gypsy Queen
04. Princess In Rags (The Cult)
05. Your Dreams Won't Die
06. Afraid Of The Night
07. A Forgotten Conversation
08. Quiet Rhapsody
09. Twelve Men Wise And Just
10. Don't Cry Baby


Tony Clarkin - Guitar
Bob Catley - Vocals
Mark Stanway - Keyboards
Al Barrow - Bass
Harry James - Drums