Magnum – Princess Alice and the Broken Arrow
Album Review by Adam McCann
SPV SteamHammer 2007
Alice in Wonderland
It is the curse of Magnum to bear, to be one of the most influential bands in rock and metal, yet they are often completely forgotten, consigned to a dusty old page in a history book under ‘Kingdom of Madness’ or ‘On a Storyteller’s Night’, eventually calling it a day in 1995. Yet, the band would reform in 2001 and in their twilight years, they would release albums that would match and even surpass the albums of their prime.
‘Princess Alice and the Broken Arrow’ is the 3rd studio to be released following the bands reformation and their 14th overall. Although ‘Princess Alice…’ is nowhere near as dark as the previous album ‘Brand New Morning’, ‘Princess Alice…’ has a distinctively classic Magnum sound, yes, Bob Catley’s voice may not be anywhere near as good as it was in his prime, yet, these days Catley has a voice that worn, warm and familiar, like a comfortable pair of shoes, you know they don’t look their best, they’re past their prime, yet they still do the job just as good as they did when they were first purchased.
However, the plaudits of ‘Princess Alice…’ go to Tony Clarkin, Clarkin is to Magnum what Steve Harris is to Maiden, he is the helmsman and as a songwriter, Clarkin is the gift that keeps on giving, there are some excellent career defining songs on this album such as the perennial ‘When We Were Younger’, the classic Magnum sounding ‘Out of the Shadows’ and ‘Dragons Are Real’, helped on by the rousing keyboards of Mark Stanway.
The most beautiful thing about ‘Princess Alice…’ is that it solidifies the return of Magnum, if ‘Brand New Morning’ was the stepping stone, then ‘Princess Alice…’ is the solid foundation on the other side, it provides the bands pivotal return moment ensuring the success of the band for years to come.
Rating : 85/100
MHF Magazine/Adam McCann