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Bob Catley
January 2009
Released: 2008, Frontiers Records/Zink Music
Rating: 5.0/5
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

Bob Catley is not only the vocalist for the English act Magnum, he has his own stunning solo career, which started in 1998. He uses different songwriters to write songs for his albums and IMMORTAL is Catley’s sixth solo release. This time, for the first time, he has guitarist/producer/songwriter Magnus Karlsson helping him out.

Catley’s once again delivers a solid melodic hardrock album with a grand and epic production. The album possesses a certain English flair and the focus is set on lead vocals and edgy guitar playing. In order to get a more melodic feeling Catley used quite of large amount of keyboards. This album sounds quite a lot like his former ones so I guess that Catley fans are gonna be real happy when they hear IMMORTAL.

Catley is one of few singers who actually has kept his voice and vocals intact and it’s a pleasure to hear Catley sing. He still carries a broad vocal range and he manages to pitch the higher notes perfect. For his band he has some well-known names within the melodic hard rock scene including drummer Bruinenberg from Elegy and Ward from Pink Cream 69 and Khymera. Last but not least, we have the extremely talented Karlsson on guitar. He has been part of Last Tribe, Starbreaker, and the Allen/Lande project amongst many other acts. He contributes with a guitar solo on “End of the World” as well as playing keyboards.

Karlsson has written all of the 12 songs on this sixth album. Karlsson has a writing style that is easily recognizable but this time the songs feel and sounds a bit different. Different doesn’t mean bad and the material is over the top and for once really varied. “Dreamers Unite”, “We Are Immortal”, “End Of The World” and “Haunted” are edgy classical English melodic hardrock where guitarist Ward contributes with a dazzling solo. All of the songs have really catchy choruses and they are all easy to sing a long with. The tempo drops a little in the excellent “Open Your Eyes”, “One More Night”, “Light Up My Way” and “War In Heaven” but that doesn’t mean they are bad. They are still as heavy as the rest of the songs on the album with the only exception of the heavier use of keyboards in these songs.

IMMORTAL leaves nothing to complain about. The entire album is a show of how classic melodic hardrock should be done. Catley has made a perfect solo album and its fun to see that the Karlsson/Catley co-operation worked so well. Hopefully the co-operation is something we can hear and see more of in the future.
Track Listing

Dreamers Unite
We Are Immortal
End Of The World
Open Your Eyes
The Searcher
One More Night
Light Up My Way
You Are My Star
War In Heaven
Win The Throne
Heart Of Passion


Bob Catley – lead vocals
Dirk Bruinenberg – drums
Dennis Ward – guitar, bass, keyboards
Uwe Reitenauer – guitar
Magnus Karlsson – keyboards, guitar solo on track no 3

Other reviews

» When Empires Burn
by JP

» Immortal
by Anders Sandvall

» Immortal
by Waspman

Next review: » Bob Catley - Immortal
Previous review: » Boar - Veneficae

Bob Catley
January 2009
Released: 2008, Frontiers Records
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Waspman

Bob Catley has been in the music game for a long time – since the early 1970’s. While he’s spent most of his career with venerable British hard rockers Magnum, he has also branched out for the occasional solo album over the years. In fact, these solo discs have become highly anticipated events from his fans, as they are all consistently some of the best pieces of music released in their year. Therefore, 2008 should be no different, as Bob releases his seventh solo album – IMMORTAL.

It’s been a couple of years since I last crossed paths with a Bob Catley solo album. The last one I heard was 2001’s MIDDLE EARTH masterpiece – an album that I revere and play constantly to this day. Obviously I had high expectations of IMMORTAL. The thing about Catley, he’s not much of a writer, so he usually relies on outside writers to provide the material for his distinctive voice. In the past he’s worked extensively with Ten’s Gary Hughes, but for IMMORTAL, he enlisted Swedish keyboard player Magnus Karlsson (Primal Fear, Last Tribe, Allen/Lande) for writing duties. This method can be dangerous, but thankfully Karlsson brought his A+ writing pen to the table. “Dreamers Unite” sets the tone immediately, being a proggy but driving rocker, that’s heavier than anything heard on MIDDLE EARTH. I had heard that Catley took a turn for the heavier with 2003’3 WHEN EMPIRES BURN, and it sounds like that’s true!

The rest of the album follows the same type of format, being heavy hard rock (not quite metal), focus squarely on the guitars but with strong keyboard work as well. Of course, Catley’s storyteller’s voice rings out over top of it all, as strong as ever. Faves would have to be the thumping “War In Heaven”, and the relatively speedy “One More Night”, along with the aforementioned “Dreamers Unite”. But really, picking favourites is impossible as each song practically forces you to pay attention and sing along with reckless abandon.

IMMORTAL may just be another Bob Catley solo album, but it sets a bar that few other bands can match. This is easily one of the strongest albums of 2008.
Track Listing

1) Dreamers Unite
2) We Are Immortal
3) End of the World
4) Open Your Eyes
5) The Searcher
6) One More Night
7) Light Up My Way
8) You Are My Star
9) War In Heaven
10) Win The Throne
11) Haunted
12) Heat of Passion


Bob Catley: Vocals
Dennis Ward: Guitar
Magnus Karlsson: Keyboards
Dirk Bruinenberg: Drums
Uwe Reitenauei: Additional Guitar

Other reviews

» When Empires Burn
by JP

» Immortal
by Anders Sandvall

» Immortal
by Waspman

Next review: » Bob Catley - When Empires Burn
Previous review: » Boar - Veneficae

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