Band: Bob Catley
Album: When Empires Burn
Release date: 2003
“The Torment” — 1:53
“Children of the Circle” — 5:40
“Gonna Live Forever” — 3:39
“The Prophecy” — 6:36
“I’ll Be Your Fool” — 4:34
“Every Beat of My Heart” — 5:36
“When Empires Burn” — 5:33
“Meaning of Love” — 4:49
“This Is the Day” — 6:21
“Someday Utopia” — 5:41
“My America” — 7:08
Bonus Tracks on Digipack edition
“Heaven Can Wait” – 4:08
“When the Earth Lies Still” – 4:07
Bob Catley — Vocals
Paul Hodson — Vocals, Keyboards
Al Barrow — Bass
Vince O’Regan — Guitar
Jamie Little — Drums
Comes in carton sleeve.
NOTICE: includes interactive material such as bio, hi-res pictures (300dpi), cover and logo of the artist for all promotional uses.
5.0 out of 5 stars OH YES!!,
Gary Hughes had done a superb job of showcasing Bobs unique “Storytelling” style of vocal delivery, but their last effort “Middle Earth” seemed the perfect time to cut ties and bring a new writer on board for his 4th album.
Up stepped Paul Hodson, formerly keyboards player on the short lived group Hard Rain, and he has written 11 incredible songs. The mix is right here too, Gary Hughes was more of an epics man, which I like, but this album also spaces them out with good old-fashioned pop-rock and ballads of the kinds Magnum excelled in and Bob does so well.
Intro “The Torment” sets things in motion with a moody instrumental which reminds me of the kind of intros Helloween used to do in their “Keeper of the Seven Keys” hayday. “Children Of The Circle” roars in and Bobs vocals are given a good workout and the scene is set for an epic feeling album. “Gonna Live Forever” comes in from a side angle, an anthemic pop-rocker with an infectious chorus and up-beat tempo. Then comes my favourite track from the album, the stunning masterpiece that is “The Prophecy”, this is the heaviest song by far that Bob has ever sung and on this evidence he should do more of it. Intended single “I’ll Be Your Fool” follows, and my only gripe being it was never released as a single as it is extremely radio-friendly but great fun. First of the power ballads, “Every Beat Of My Heart” shows why Bob is one of the great singers, every syllable of his voice full of feeling, giving the song a depth that few other singers in the world can bring to their work. The Title track follows and is very good but at this point in the album we are looking for something spectacular, rather than great. “The Meaning Of Love” is the second ballad and is again a testiment that such a simple song can evoke real emotion out of the great mans voice. Something spectacular comes in a double shot next with the glorious “This Is The Day”, a power-rocker epic in the best style of Magnum, “whilst “Someday Utopia” Has Bob singing at a 100mph with a fast, powerful rocker. The “official” album finishes with “My America”, in my opinion this is the weakest offering but in its favour it is still very good and is a great song live. “Heaven Can Wait” is a lovely, simple pop-rocker that would have sat well on the main album. “When The Earth Lies Still” is a demo of a ballad for the next album, I for one am rather hoping that they do not touch this song in anyway as it is all the more powerful for its simple nature, a real example of “less is more”.
In my opinion, this blows away Bobs three previous albums by some margin and indeed the last couple of Magnum albums as well. In mixing epic rockers with pop-rock tunes and powerful, sweeping ballads, Paul has written a belter of an album for Bob and is given the ultimate compliment by being given Bobs finest vocal performance for years.
If their is one bad point in all of this, it is that Paul Hodson has thrown down the gauntlet to Magnum songwriter Tony Clarkin to come up with one heck of an album next time around.
GO ON TONY, TAKE THE GAUNTLET, HOLD IT HIGH AND CRY “GONNA LIVE FOREVER!!!”
5.0 out of 5 stars Monster Dungeons and Dragons Metal Album,
I love this!! Heavy, melodic, beautiful…..Catley wanted to make a heavy metal album…well he nailed it…..Children of the Circle alone is worth it…great production, warm but slick…not at all like the hideous processed productions that plagues all those cheesy symphonic dungeon opera metal cds coming out of Scandanavia…Every Magnum fan should have this…..
5.0 out of 5 stars Bobs Finest Hour,
For three solo albums, Bob employed the talents of Gary Hughes and they together crafted three great albums but it was time for something new. So up stepped Paul Hodson, keyboard player in Bobs touring band and formerly of Hard Rain, to write and produce this fourth album, the first to feature Bobs touring band actually recording the tracks.
So what do we get for our money, an absolute collosus of an album. Where as the previous three required you to be in the mood to listen, this new one is instantly accesible and is full of great songs.
So I say, buy it, treasure it and love it.