The release of the 23rd studio album from Magnum will be filled with bittersweet emotions for their fiercely loyal legion of fans. The recent news that band founder Tony Clarkin has been diagnosed with a rare and incurable spinal condition has left the future of the legendary band uncertain. So if this is to be their swansong, albeit unplanned, it ain’t a bad way to bow out.
Magnum – Here Comes The Rain (SPV/Steamhammer)
Release Date: 12 January 2024
Words: Brian Boyle
Whether Here Comes The Rain will go down as a Magnum classic remains to be seen. But one thing is sure. The ever-prolific pen of Clarkin is showing no signs of running low on inspiration.
Opener Run Into The Shadows won’t take you by surprise. It’s just pure and pulsing melodic rock. It’s just what the band have been doing their whole career and continues to do better than most.
I’ll freely admit that the title track, Here Comes The Rain, took several revolutions to truly grab my attention, probably more of a simmer than a filler, but the dramatic chorus will grab you eventually.
As you all well know, Magnum is not just about the penmanship of Clarkin. Without his trusted sidekick, Bob Catley, the band would only be a reliable Honda 50 instead of a gleaming Harley. For a 76-year-old boy, his aul Hobson’s choice is remarkable.
Compelling is nearly an insult to his delivery on Some Kind Of Treachery. Musically, the song is mammoth, but Catley rises above the hefty arrangement and completely bosses it.
And while I’m singing the praises, Rick Benton’s ivory tickling should not be taken for granted on this record. It’s seven years since Mark Stanway left the band in the lurch on the eve of a show in Dublin, and Benton’s swift appointment has proved a masterstroke since.
His beautifully indulgent tapestries on Break The Silence, The Day He Lied, and The Seventh Darkness transport these songs to something greater than just quality listening.
The Seventh Darkness includes some awesome brass sections courtesy of guest musicians Chris ‘BeeBe’ Aldridge (saxophone) and Nick Dewhurst (trumpet). “The recordings were great fun,” Tony Clarkin said, “especially the moment when Chris’s sax took the lead and my guitar responded. A real highlight on this album.”
Right to the deepest depths of this album, the lavish hook buffet might leave you to believe that with sumptuous tracks like I Wanna Live and Borderline, Clarkin may have sold his soul to some dark force with a penchant for gilt-edged melodic rock.
Here Comes The Rain is pure Magnum force that’s guaranteed to make your day.
Here Comes The Rain is available on all digital platforms. Also available is a CD+DVD (Live At KK’s Steel Mill) DigiPak, CD only and 2LP Gatefold, 140 g, solid baby blue vinyl. For more details, visit here.
Magnum has been forced to cancel their European tour due to kick off in April 2024. Here is a message from Tony Clarkin.
“I’m afraid I have some bad news for you guys. Over the past year or so, I’ve been bothered by increasingly bad pains in my neck and head. For a long time, the docs couldn’t work out why, but now they’ve found out, and it’s gonna mean some changes.
I have developed a rare spinal condition. It’s not life-limiting, but it can be degenerative in some people, and sadly it’s not curable. There are treatments that may help, but we don’t know how good they’ll be.
“With the nature of touring and the weight of electric guitars, this means there’s no way I would be able to play the scheduled shows in the spring. We’ve taken the decision to cancel the tour, rather than mess anyone around trying to postpone in the hope things might get better in the short term. Bob didn’t feel it would be right doing it with a dep at this time.
This is not gonna be the end of Magnum, but the future might have to be a bit different, so please bear with us while we try and figure out what I can and can’t do moving forward.
I’m really sorry for everyone who’d already bought tickets, it goes without saying that I’m absolutely gutted that I’m not gonna be able to play for you.
Cheers and I hope I’ll be able to see you all again soon.