The Magnificent

01 - Holding On To Your Love
02 - Cheated By Love
03 - Memories
04 - Angel
05 - Satin & Lace
06 - Love's On The Line
07 - Bullets
08 - Smoke & Fire
09 - Tired Of Dreaming
10 - If It Takes All Night
11 - Lost
12 - Harvest Moon

Lead and Background Vocals: Michael Eriksen
Lead Guitars, Keyboards and Background Vocals: Torsti Spoof
Drums: Rolf Pilve
Bass: Sami Norbacka
Keyboards: Jukka Karinen
Backing vocals: Antony Parviainen
Except on
Guitar, Bass, Keyboards : Mats Haugen
Drums : Tommy Jacksonville
'Satin & Lace, Bullets, Harvest Moon':
Guitars: Tuomas Heikkinen
'Tired of Dreaming':
Bass: Torsti Spoof




Released 4/11-2011
Reviewed 10/11-2011


Scandinavia is apparently the place to find quality melodic rock music these days, this magnificent band is no exception as it is a finnish-norwegian collaboration between finnish multi-instrumentalist and producer Torsti Spoof and norwegian singer Michael Eriksen, in the promotional text there are several names mentioned as songwriters and so on, names that I don’t care to repeat but they can be found on the Frontiers website if you want them. This self titled album is the debut of these magnificents, an album that apparently is another one of these amazing must have AOR albums that have been released this year. What is funny about this album is that many reviews I have read looks exactly the same with the same choice of words and more or less the same text all way through which of course explains why unity in the reviews of the genre is so big. An interesting album cover can be found on this album as well, promising, exciting and powerful AOR music.

I think that to say this band reinvents the AOR genre is a big lie and that no one would say such a thing, it is not an album that is breaking new ground but threads the ground of the genre legends. The music is very melodic with catchy choruses that attaches to your mind like your superglued hand attaches to your forehead, the guitar lines and keys are decently advanced and very catchy throughout the twelve tracks on the album. The production is without flaw and brings out this super melodic sound that The Magnificent has to offer. The singer is a quite typical high pitched singer, nothing particularly exciting or surprising in that regard. The album has as I already have stated twelve tracks which will set you back over 58 minutes if you play them all in one go.

I think this album starts in a way that is not particularly funny, the first six tracks are typical AOR tracks which are very good but at the same time not particularly exciting or amazing which then changes in the final six tracks which are both exciting and very good. So half the album is the same old stuff that we hear all the time from Frontiers and half is quite amazing and catchy AOR tracks that really infect your mind. I wonder if the band was building up tension towards a climax from the middle to the end of the album, which might be what they wanted as an album is always much better if it ends with the best songs rather than ends with the average stuff.

I can’t help but feeling that the first tracks are mostly filler tracks, they don’t do much for me to be honest and that’s a shame. I think they are brilliant at what they do but the thing is that what they do has been done so many times already which is why it is hard to be completely enthusiastic about their music. This is true for the first part of the album as the second part is just so much better and several of the tracks there are tracks that really catches your mind and can be said to be brilliantly made AOR tracks according to every possible rule of making a good AOR song.

Track seven Bullets is one track that catches my mind, it opens the series of great tracks but it has a chorus to die for and is just a great song, Tired of Dreaming is my favourite track on the album and I think it is more or less perfect. The I think the ballad called If it Takes all Night is well worth mentioning as it is a wonderful ballad. And this fact that the album signs off in the best possible way helps hide the fact that the album is too long with over fifty eight minutes, I have yet to hear an AOR album that can really be an hour long and still keep me interested all the way through, the Magnificent is not that album.

An album with great tracks and great music that is too long and has a little too much filler tracks in the early goings of the album. I think that with the great second half this album plays its way deep into the heart of the listener and manages to make a lasting impression with those tracks so it is not only a good and promising debut, it is also a magnificent album.



Label: Frontier Records
Three similar bands: Cirkus Maximus/Leverage/Journey
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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