After the success of 1982's Chase The Dragon, Magnum could be forgiven for thinking that the big time was just around the corner. However, The Eleventh Hour represents one of the most difficult periods the band would ever have to endure.
What's a shame is that this, Magnums fourth studio effort is a good, solid record. The first four tracks, The Prize, Breakdown, Vicious Companions and The Great Disaster, get the album of to a flying start and show guitarist/songwriter Tony Clarkin becoming more adept at creating good songs of a shorter length. However, with the exception of the excellent One Night Of Passion and the anthemic The Word, The Eleventh Hour runs out of steam a little. All in all though, Magnum managed to create a follow up to the superb Chase The Dragon that more than holds its own, and with some more inspired cover artwork by Rodney Matthews, The Eleventh Hour is a decent package.
Magnum's major problem that year was a lack of marketing muscle from the record label and also being forced to self produce the music, for cost cutting purposes. Couple this up with the end of The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal movement in which the band had been carelessly pigeonholed, and the albums lack of major league success isn't so much of a mystery. However, good times were only a couple of years away, and Magnum would never sound the same again. In the meantime, sit back, relax and enjoy one of the bands more forgotten efforts. A guilty pleasure indeed.