Released: 2011, Frontiers Records
Here’s one that was kind of a random pick up on my part, with one very big selling point. Normally I wouldn’t pay much attention to the formation of a melodic rock “super group”, however The Magnificent is a combination of Torsti Spoof from Finland hard rockers Leverage and the almighty Michael Eriksen; vocalist extraordinaire of Norway’s prog-metal masters Circus Maximus. Even though I don’t know anything at all about Leverage, the fact that Eriksen was involved meant that no matter what the band was playing, The Magnificent was going to get my full attention.
As I mentioned above, this is a melodic rock album, jam packed with its share of ballads, keyboards, and love songs. In short – it’s a cheese fest that would have been a massive hit with housewives the world over if this were 1985. Yep, it’s that kind of album, and any and all attempts at originality have been left at the door. I mean, hell, how many ballads called “Angel” does the world really need? Well, if they are as good as THIS ballad called “Angel”, then I’m all for having one more. Ha!
What I’m alluding to is the fact that these two guys are pros, and their song writing skills are good enough to take this tired genre and actually make something exciting out of it. No, they're not trying anything earth-shatteringly new, but the songs are constructed so well that it doesn’t matter. Plus, the band has two other selling points: 1) Spoof’s guitars are loud, and forward enough in the mix that the album never descends into pure wimp rock and 2) Eriksen is a master vocalist with enough range and thespian flair to carry these songs to a higher level. The man’s performance on Circus Maximus’ ISOLATE was brilliant, and even though this is a different genre, this performance matches it.
So sure, The Magnificent gives you everything you love and hate about melodic rock, but they do it so convincingly that you’ll be happy to go along for the ride. Into every darkened Norwegian forest, a little sunshine must fall…or something like that.