Published on February 5th, 2018 | by Justin G.
Magnum: Lost on the Road to Eternity (SPV)
Right on schedule, long-running British pomp rock/AOR band Magnum is back with a new studio album. Lost on the Road to Eternity is their twentieth (if my count is right) album, coming a full four decades after they made their debut in 1978. It’s also their first album in just about forever without keyboardist Mark Stanway, who’s replaced here by Rick Benton. Drummer Lee Morris is another new addition. The core of Magnum’s sound – guitarist/songwriter Tony Clarkin and vocalist Bob Catley – remains in place, and once again famed cover artist Rodney Matthews graces the album with a classic image.
Over the past several albums, Magnum has been quite consistent. They’ve occasionally delivered a true classic (2012’s On the 13th Day, for example), but for the most part they’ve been turning in solid, but not exceptional albums since their reformation. Lost on the Road to Eternity fits that description. It opens with a clunker (unless it’s a sleazy rock band doing it, there should never be a rock song called “Peaches and Cream”), but “Show Me Your Hands” is a solid anthem and “Storm Baby” has that classic Magnum vibe. It’s not till the title track that the album gets really exciting, and that’s in part due to a guest appearance by Avantasia mainman Tobias Sammet. The back half of the album is hit and miss, with the more epic songs (“Forbidden Masquerade,” “Glory to Ashes”) succeeding where the basic rockers like “Ya Wanna Be Someone” fall flat. It’s mostly down to songwriting, since the musicianship is strong as always and Bob Catley’s voice remains a thing of magic.
Overall, Lost on the Road to Eternity is another solid entry in the Magnum discography, much like the last one, and the one before that. It has its moments, and certainly won’t disappoint the band’s longtime fans, but in the end it’s hard to get really excited about this one.
Format Notes: The CD version of Lost on the Road to Eternity comes in a digipack and includes a bonus disc with three live songs from 2017. They’re decent enough, but nothing you’ll need to hear twice. If they had a single-disc jewel case version, I’d have jumped on it, but it’s this or nothing, and nothing isn’t an option for this Magnum fan.
Summary: Another solid, but not exceptional, Magnum album.