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Into The Valley Of The Moon King

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01 Intro
02 Cry To Yourself
03 All My Bridges
04 Take Me To The Edge
05 The Moon King
06 Noone Knows His Name
07 In My Mind's Eye
08 Time To Cross That River
09 If I Ever Lose My Mind
10 A Face In The Crowd
11 Feels Like Treason
12 Blood On Your Barbed Wire Thorns
It’s those magical stories, sensitive melodies and powerful rhythms which wow Magnum’s fans and the critics every time. Like few other global rock acts, guitarist/songwriter/producer Tony Clarkin, vocalist Bob Catley and their three band members Mark Stanway (keyboards), Al Barrow (bass), and Harry James (drums) succeed at regular intervals in taking their listeners on an adventurous journey through enchanted territories. That’s how it was thirty years ago and thankfully hasn’t changed in 2009: 15 June 2009 (Germany: 12 June 2009 US/Canada: 16 June 2009) will see the arrival of their new studio album, Into The Valley Of The Moon King, which fascinates with a dozen melodic and rocking, diverse and catchy new songs. “My hope is to make it interesting for anyone who hears the album, so I put great emphasis on lyrics and musical arrangements,” offers Clarkin and can rest assured in view of these impressive tracks that his band’s substantial following will love Into The Valley Of The Moon King.

As in the past, all songs were penned by guitarist Tony Clarkin. “I wrote and recorded the songs at home, this time I had around sixty numbers in one form or another, then gradually I chose what I thought were the best, worked on them and finally played them to Bob.” The result is diverse and at the same time typical of the band: Magnum shine with lots of sensitive melodies and gritty hooks, and the track, ‘Moon King’, sees Clarkin get out his blues guitar and proves that Magnum’s vocalist cuts a fine figure in every rock genre. Into The Valley Of The Moon King is new and exciting and features small surprises and intricate details, yet the album definitely continues Magnum’s typical melodic rock tradition. Clarkin: “I think the common ground in all Magnum releases is that we take great pride in making a record and always do the best we can.”

Into The Valley Of The Moon King will be available in three different versions: as a regular jewel case CD, as a top-quality Digipak consisting of CD and bonus DVD, and for collectors in a vinyl format featuring two LPs and a fold-out cover. And it’s the vinyl version which best brings out the album’s atmospheric cover artwork, again designed by Rodney Matthews. Magnum fans know Matthews from his work on the classics, Chase The Dragon and On A Storyteller´s Night, among others. “The Moon King artwork is my favourite piece he’s ever done for us,” enthuses Clarkin, “It’s got real magic to it.”

The band’s major tour of Germany, for which Clarkin promises an interesting setlist, is scheduled for September 2009: “We’ll be re-visiting some tracks from the Brand New Morning album, quite a few tracks from the Moon King album, and a bunch of old favourites.”

Founded in the mid-Seventies, Magnum brought out their debut, Kingdom of Madness, featuring diverse prog rock of the melodic variety, in 1978. Magnum II, out one year later, sounded even more symphonic, and their first live album, Marauder, arrived at the stores twelve months later. Chase The Dragon (1982) and The Eleventh Hour (1983) documented the musicians’ unmistakable development, but their big breakthrough took a long time in coming. It arrived, deservedly, in 1985 with On A Storyteller’s Night, Vigilante (1986) (produced by Queen drummer Roger Taylor) and Wings Of Heaven, which made no. 2 of the British album charts and spawned three top 30 single hits. Celebrated tours and invitations to most of the major open-air festivals of the Eighties followed, Reading Festival, the Monsters Of Rock in Castle Donington among them, as well as several shows at the Wembley Arena and annual appearances at the legendary Hammersmith Odeon.

In the early Nineties, the musicians flew to Los Angeles, where they recorded their Goodnight L.A. album, composer Clarkin being supported by Russ Ballard and Jim Vallance. The band’s record company released The Spirit, featuring rare or previously unreleased tracks from another studio session, towards the end of their mutual contract, followed by Sleepwalking, another new, regular studio album soon afterwards. The first chapter of Magnum’s success story ended in 1994 with Rock Art and a major farewell tour, during which the final live album The Last Dance (May 1996) was recorded.

Clarkin went on to work as a producer and songwriter for other artists, released two albums with Bob Catley, recorded by their intermezzo project Hard Rain in 1997 and 1999 (Hard Rain & When The Good Times Come), and generally recharged his musical batteries. Then, almost precisely eight years after Rock Art, glorious times returned for Magnum. Their 2001 album Breath Of Life oozed present and past all at once and was followed by a number of celebrated shows. “It was very inspiring for me to write and produce material for Magnum again,” Clarkin explains. “Compared to the Hard Rain tracks, Magnum compositions have become more powerful, deeper and more passionate.”

With their 2004 album, Brand New Morning, and a major European tour in late summer of that year, Magnum went even further, documenting that this band, like a good wine, gets better with every year. Looking at it this way, Princess Alice & The Broken Arrow (2006) came as no surprise but was the logical result of a mature and well thought-through creational process. Magnum demonstrated their superb live qualities again one year later on Wings Of Heaven - Live and have now added another chapter to the great book of their studio tales in Into The Valley Of The Moon King.
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