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Escape From The Shadow Garden

4.6 out of 5 stars 128 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (24 Mar. 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Steamhammer
  • ASIN: B00G0RTWPG
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 71,206 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Marvelous sounding record from Magnum; I haven't been a fan of this band for very long but it is clear from the very first song "Live 'til you die" that this band mean business; and in hindsight- sort of continues a recent trend of very high quality albums dating back to around 2004's "Brand new morning". With "Escape from the shadow garden" I am now convinced that Magnum are better now than they have ever been:- A comfortable record contract with SPV and a knack for writing versatile, memorable and compelling rock songs as they have always done, is behind the results which are so demonstratively compelling with this latest 18th installment.

"Escape from the shadow garden" follows in a natural progression to "On the 13th day", which I found to be as good a rock album as I have ever heard. The production sounds organic and natural; clear and as perfect a rock sound as you would want. The relative quality of musicianship is also very high:- there is some small elements of classical sounds, with a heavy imprint of the awesome Magnum style, strong musical corridors and a decent array of rock riffs sandwiched comfortably within a set of dynamic and well constructed songs.

A stratospherically high quality of songwriting is testament to Magnum's studio focus, experience and dedication to what they're doing. For me, every song on the album is re-playable and enjoyable; Highlighting the track "Falling for the big plan", it is quite simply a superb song and a key track of the album. Whilst "Too many clowns" will be a surprise to many as there is a distinct metal influence and style underneath it's chunky chorus which remarkably suits the band quite well.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Right from the start this Album oozes classic Magnum with some some great keyboards from Mark Introducing the first track "live Till You Die". Then it just gets better and better as you listen to it with the great vocals from Bob and guitar riffs from Tony. With great solid rock tracks like "Too Many Clowns" and the moving Ballad's like "Don't Fall Asleep" you really have got an album here that showcases magnum at their very best.
As much as I love Magnum I always seem to find a song on every Album that takes me a couple of Listens before I get it! But not on this Album all the tunes had me hooked from the very first listen.
Well done Tony, Bob Mark , Al and Harry (Magnum)
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
After seeing a preview of 'Too Many Clowns' on YouTube, I'll admit that I started to wonder whether or not Magnum might have finally run out of steam, but I'm happy to say that once again, Tony Clarkin has penned yet another album of startling quality.
The first thing that hits you is the cover artwork. For me, this is quite possibly Rodney Matthews finest Magnum album sleeve and there are some interesting parallels with 1983's 'The Eleventh Hour'. The cover recreates the setting of that sleeve whilst tipping the hat to the imagery on other records and the tone/mood of the music on 'Escape From The Shadow Garden', in addition to some of the social commentary and cynicism in the lyrics is very similar to that album. If that wasn't enough, this record reached number 38 on the UK album charts, as did 'The Eleventh Hour'. Spooky eh?
Onto the music; a good way to gauge how good Magnum albums are is to try and picture Bob Catley gesticulating on stage to each track. There's plenty on offer here and from the glorious, galloping pomp rock of opener 'Live to You Die' to the cigarette lighters in the air finale of 'The Valley of Tears', this new album shows Magnum playing to their strengths, but giving it some extra steel.
'Unwritten Sacrifice' and 'Crying in The Rain' have an intensity that I've rarely heard on a Magnum record and the aforementioned 'Too Many Clowns', along with the rollicking 'Burning River' deliver plenty of hard rock crunch. It's not all big rock though; 'Midnight Angel' and 'Don't Fall Asleep' are two superb and reassuringly uncorny ballads.
Magnum are in terrific shape. Bob Catley's vocal performances are bang on the money. He sings his little heart out on every track and remains arguably the most underrated British rock vocalist of his generation.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've given this album a few listens to before writing the review as I certainly think this one is a grower. I loved On The 13th Day and thought that it couldnt be topped but Magnum have done their level best to attempt it and I think they have an album as good as the previous one, and may very well be seen as better than in the months to come.

Where 13th Day had a lot of immediate up-tempo numbers Shadow garden opts more for bringing you into the song gradually. Exceptions to this are the excellent all-out rocker Too Many Clowns (which screams single) and Burning River. Midnight Angel is superb and other tracks such as Falling For The Big Plan, Live Til You Die and Unwritten Sacrifice, are all superb both in terms of the structure and the performance of the band. For me the album finishes off with possibly Magnum's best ballad anthem, Valley of Tears, a beautiful song with an uplifting lyric and should go down well live, as the whole album would truth be told.

All in all a class album. Great production bringing the best out of the songs and all the band playing brilliantly. Bob's voice sounds good on this album with Tony really pushing the voice and Bob responding. he really ensures that the emotion of the song carries across. Tony's work on the guitar is as excellent as always. he is undoubtedly the most under-rated guitarist as well as under-rated songwriter in the UK, if not the world. It is a source of sadness that whilst no name one-shot wonders get all the credit, true talents like Magnum barely cause a stir.

I guess the best compliment I can give this album was playing it at a cafe and the other people there asking who the band were and saying what an amazing album it was. Magnum deserve to be far better known than they are.
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