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'The Magnificent'
(Frontiers Records)

jonathan churchill

The Magnificent is quite an ambitious, if not arrogant way to introduce your self-titled debut album. And as 2011 has been a year of genuinely outstanding music this late-in-the-year entrant to the Melodic Rock category has its work cut out.

the magnificent

My favourite Melodic Rock album of the year so far is without doubt Night Ranger's 'Somewhere In California', but now I find myself cheating on Night Ranger with this smooth as satin temptress that is 'The Magnificent'. If you could fall in love with a record, it would be this one.

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It goes without saying that this band are from Scandinavia. If you read through my column, this year there seems to be a recurring theme that all the best bands are from Sweden or Finland. From Cheerleader to Hammerfall to DragonLand, this region just keeps on giving!

The Magnificent is the brainchild of Circus Maximus singer extraordinaire Michael Eriksen from Norway and Finnish producer/guitarist Torsti Spoof, of Leverage fame, with the help of musicians which include Rolf Pilve on drums, Sami Norbacka on bass and Jukka Karinen on keyboards.

Bringing back the big hair, keyboards and even bigger emotions of the late 80s, this record delivers because it has a strong identity. You will either love or hate it depending on your view of this rose-tinted hairspray dominated period. For me, it is near perfect.

It's sometimes hard to pinpoint influences or describe how an album sounds but in this case there is no debate. This is an effortless, fluid and well produced pastiche of Final Countdown-era Europe, Whitesnake's 1987, a little Journey and a sprinkling of Foreigner.

Michael Eriksen's vocals are the star of the show and capture the urgency and emotion required to tug at your heartstrings while soaring through the octaves with all the panache of Joey Tempest at his very best. His range and melody makes the record feel utterly sincere, believable, heartfelt and totally addictive.

The song writing is strong and clever, although deliberately very predictable, and the band work in perfect harmony with the silky source material. The sound may be Europe but the lyrics are all Whitesnake: with song titles such as 'Holding On To Your Love', 'Angel', 'Cheated By Love' and 'Satin And Lace' – you get the drift!

Like crack cocaine, one hit from any of these tracks and you're hooked. You'll go back for more again and again.

It's definitely not original or new, but if you buy into the concept, this is a delirious, seductive and phenomenally addictive record and it gets better with each listen. It's the epitome of a guilty pleasure and I can't recommend it enough. That's if you like this sort of thing, of course!

If you thought 'Is This Love' or 'Carrie' were rubbish, avoid at all costs. If, like me. they defined your teenage years you MUST buy this immediately!

Conclusion: A brilliant, bright supernova of an album that's out of time, predictably uncool and utterly unoriginal. That's probably why I love it. Overall, a stunning debut, a genuine moment of pure musical joy and fast-becoming my most listened to album of 2011.

Esssential Downloads:

The whole damn record! There is no weak track.

Jonathan Churchill.


Jonathan Churchill.
Follow me on Twitter: MetalTalk_1976



Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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