CD review MAGNUM ‘The Serpent Rings’

UK-based Rock veterans Magnum is a real phenomena. Founded in 1972 the band still delivers great music to date after being in business for so many years. Even a hiatus at the end of the ‘90s couldn’t stop Tony Clarkin and Bob Catley. The band returned in 2002 and picked it up where they left off in 1995.

48 years after having started on an exciting musical journey, the Magnum-magic is still present and it manifests itself on the new longplayer ‘The Serpent Rings’. It seems to be like Clarkin having an endless flow of creativity and ideas when it comes to songs. Sticking to Magnum trademarks the guitarist manages to keep things exciting with every new album. The foundation is timeless and the twists create the constant excitement.

I can hardly imagine a reader of this review not having heard of Magnum before. Therefore it’s a bit like carrying sand to the beach describing the sound on ‘The Serpent Rings’. Magnum builds on their success formula, combining exquisite melodies with catchy hooks and a rocking guitar. Last but not least it’s Bob Catley’s voice and vocals that does so much for the typical Magnum sound, music you can identify as being from Magnum right away.

The new longplayer features eleven songs with lyrics that covers fairy-like stories as well as addressing relevant topics of the here and now. ‘Madman or Messiah’ is an example for the latter, dealing with all kinds of saviors these days and the danger that comes with it. ‘Man’ is another example for lyrics being based on the current state of the planet. It’s about mankind and greed, a combination that destroys nature and planet.

To pick some songs as highlight is usually a difficult thing with Magnum albums due to the quality level the songs benefits from. However, there are a few songs I think you have to listen to for sure. There are the typical Magnum hymns like ‘You Can’t Run Faster Than Bullets’ and majestic ‘The Serpent Rings’. ‘Not Forgiven’ is a treat for your ears too with its swinging Rock vibe while the mentioned ‘Man’ is more of a dark anthem, still reflecting Magnum’s trademarks from A-Z.

Magnum in 2020 is still Magnum. Driven by the creative duo Clarkin/Catley the album has a great groove and vibe throughout. Talking about ‘groove’, the band welcomes a new member with Dennis Ward. The bassist replaces Al Barrow who left the band earlier and provides together with drummer Lee Morris a lively heartbeat to each of the songs. Magnum never disappointed, neither on longplayers nor on stage. ‘The Serpent Rings’ doesn’t break this pattern of success. This album is a great start into the new year.

Rating: 8 out of 10.


  1. Where Are You Eden?
  2. You Can’t Run Faster Than Bullets
  3. Madman or Messiah  
  4. The Archway of Tears
  5. Not Forgiven  
  6. The Serpent Rings  
  7. House of Kings
  8. The Great Unknown
  9. Man
  10. The Last One on Earth  
  11. Crimson on the White Sand

Label: Steamhammer

Genre: Rock

Release Date EU: January 17th, 2020



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