CD Title: Lost on the Road to Eternity
Label: Steamhammer/SPV Release (2018)
Rating: Album #20 is a bit of mixed bag for Prog fans
This is studio album number twenty for the venerable English band Magnum and by any standards an achievement in resilience. Since coming on the scene back in 1979 Magnum’s hard rocking style has flirted to varying degrees with the Progressive Rock genre be it through their songs or sometimes just their album covers. I thought their last albumSacred Blood, Divine Lies was one of their better releases given that it focused a little more on the prog side of things. Other releases have been less inclined to do so and relied more on the band’s mainstream hard rocking style full of catchy lyrical lines and scorching guitar riffs. On this release, Lost on the Road to Eternity the band have put together a polarized mix of material that incorporates songs from both extremes; some more mainstream and some more adventurous. I’ve always labeled Magnum as Pomp-Prog, that is, essentially a hard rocking band that employs various proggy embellishments in some of their tunes creating a kind of Prog-Lite. We saw a lot of Pomp-Prog bands in the eighties as those with Prog desires attempted to navigate a very hostile music world. Such is Lost on the Road to Eternity. There are some songs like “Show Me Your Hands” [5:47] and “Welcome to the Cosmic Cabaret” [8:12] that incorporate some interesting proggy elements. Things like a bridge that goes off in a different direction, longer introductions, songs that are structured out of the mainstream, some intriguing musical change-ups and perhaps sometimes featuring some lavish orchestrations such as the title track. When viewed through the Prog lens however, this won’t be considered their most sought-after endeavor, that would more likely go to their previous release, but I’m quite sure these eleven tunes will be much appreciated by their rabid fan base as well as perhaps by those who like their melodic hard-rock-guilty-pleasure sprinkled with something just a little bit more musicality.