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Music Review: Bob Catley – Immortal

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Bob Catley has a unique and instantly recognizable voice that immediately grabs your attention. If voices could be part of a police identification parade anyone, who has heard anything by Magnum over the years, would be able to pick him out without any trouble at all.

He has had, and on this evidence is still having, a career with some lasting highs, such as Magnum’s superb On a Storytellers Night or Marauder as just two, of many,  examples. His solo career also produced the highly impressive 2006 album Spirit of Man, one of his best to date. So when Bob Catley announces that he is about to release a new album, there is a lot of eager anticipation. Like welcoming an old friend, Immortal sounds familiar from the off. His voice has lost none of its impact over the years and again he has chosen songwriters who write material that literally fits him like a glove.

His work can never be categorised as just melodic or just rock – Magnum and Bob Catley step beyond those definitions producing, on the one hand, grand soaring symphonic rock combined with a delightfully controlled power. Magnum’s Tony Clarkin wrote some memorable songs into which Bob Catley injected his own undeniable style. During his solo career he has chosen song writers incredibly well.

For Immortal the writing is supplied by Swedish guitar hero Magnus Karlsson of Starbreaker fame. Starbreaker of course have just released a melodic rock triumph themselves with their album Love’s Dying Wish. In writing material for someone like Bob Catley it is a safe bet that he will draw every possible emotion and passion from the lyrics and with the songs on Immortal, the combination of song, lyric, and vocal delivery work as well as anything he has done previously. From the opening chords of “Dreamers Unite” this can only be a Bob Catley album.

Once again he has gathered a collection of quality musicians around him. Magnus Karlsson covers mainly keyboards throughout whilst Dennis Ward not only plays guitar but is responsible for the excellent production as well. Drummer Dirk Bruinenberg and extra guitars from Uwe Reltenauer complete the picture. Heavier at times than previous efforts, there are quality guitar solos aplenty. “Dreamers Unite” opens the album with characteristic passion. “We Are Immortal” is a definite example of the quality available. Further highlights include “End of the World” a track that shows his voice is as excellent as ever and has the band on great form.

“Open Your Eyes”, “War In Heaven” and “Heat Of Passion” are all exceptionally good. With too many highlights to go through, Immortal, will satisfy fans of Magnum and those who like their rock music to be a soaring, thoughtful and passionate blend of melodic, power, and emotion.

In many ways with Bob Catley you almost know what you will get, and Immortal is no exception, and yet the album still sounds fresh, relevant and is put together with characteristic commitment, passion, and belief. Sounding as strong as anything he has done during his career – Immortal is an album he can be justifiably proud of. He knows his strengths, as does Karlsson, and they have combined superbly to give us another Bob Catley album of the very highest quality.

For news and information, visit Bob Catley's Official Website.

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