Reviewed: January 2009
Released: 2008, Frontiers Records/Zink Music
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.
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