MAGNUM – Wings Of Heaven [Japan HR/HM 1000 Vol.5 series Limited Release] (2022) HQ

MAGNUM - Wings Of Heaven [Japan HR/HM 1000 Vol.5 series Limited Release] (2022) HQ full

Universal Music Japan did it again, a new campaign of their ‘HR/HM 1000‘ series – the Limited Release reissue of long time out of print albums from their Hard Rock / Heavy Metal catalog at the price of 1000 Yen = about 8 USD.
Now it’s time for the second 2022 batch, ”HR-HM 1000 Vol.5”. And as part of these there’s the out of print in Japan “Wings Of Heaven“, 1988’s MAGNUM album considered by many their masterpiece.
The recording takes the best of both worlds; the approach to this album was commercial, melodic, radio-friendly but still with the distinct progressive leanings of the band’s origins, resulting in an album including some of their best songs ever.
“Wings Of Heaven” was MAGNUM’s first studio album to gain both critical and commercial success and the first to achieve a top 10 placing, which it did all over Europe.

It was 1988 and MAGNUM needed to update their sound. They took the melodic approach of American AOR acts such as Journey / Styx and mixed them with atmospheric progressive British classy arrangements.
The album opens with the wonderful ‘Days of no Trust’, a belting slice of pomp rock with soaring guitars and a superb vocal performance by Bob Catley. The brief acoustic play-out leads to ‘Wild Swan’, a song in two distinct parts. The first half is a loud rock bluesy piece which switches pace between verses. This segues into a much softer, ethereal concluding section. Magnum are venturing into real prog territory here.

‘One Step Away’ is a great melodic rocker with a midtempo US touch that reminds me to Bad English, featuring a melodic articulated guitar work and Catley’s vocal quality is in the vein of Journey. The ballad “It must have Been Love” is an essential MAGNUM song. The appearance of the London Gospel Choir here, and the general feel of the track, offers comparisons with Foreigner’s ‘I want to know what love is’.
The epic closer ‘Don’t Wake The Lion (Too Old To Die Young)’ is especially noteworthy. This moving anti-war anthem is not only one of the most progressive songs in the Magnum catalogue but also one of the best.

“Wings Of Heaven” is one of the most complete MAGNUM albums, combining melody, harmony and tempo changes with class. Those of you who like Journey, Asia, Styx, etc – elaborated melodic rock / AOR music with substance and proggy melodies, need “Wings Of Heaven” in your collection.
Highly Recommended


H R / H M 1000 SERIES

01 – Days of No Trust
02 – Wild Swan
03 – Start Talking Love
04 – One Step Away
05 – It Must Have Been Love
06 – Different Worlds
07 – Pray for the Day
08 – Don’t Wake the Lion (Too Old to Die Young)

Bob Catley — vocals
Tony Clarkin – guitar
Wally Lowe – bass guitar
Mark Stanway – keyboards
Mickey Barker – drums
Attie Bauw – fairlight
The London Gospel Choir – backing vocals on 5



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1 Response

  1. melodified says:

    One Step Away is one of their best songs by the way. Thank you for this!

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