OLIVER MAGNUM - S/T

OLIVER MAGNUM - S/T

\r\nI am really tired of continuously counting and naming bands that never got the recognition they deserved even though they had all the necessary tools to reach success either because they never got a chance or the timing was not right. And as you must have guessed by now, one of those bands is Oliver Magnum.
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\r\nThe band was founded in 1983 in Enid, Oklahoma by bassist Dan Kurtz and drummer Curt Daugherty, and very quickly teamed up with guitarist Monte Humphrey. A year later and while they had started playing live as an instrumental threesome, Mark Mueller took over the vocals. Under this line up and having performed many live gigs already, they recorded in 1986 their first demo with the name “Oliver Magnum”, which included 4 songs. The demo received a warm welcome from the fans who not only liked it but bought it too, since the tape sold approximately 2000 copies in two years. In 1988 and with the band already in the process of recording their first album, Mark Mueller left due to problems with his voice and James Randell took his place. With him, Oliver Magnum recorded and released their first (and only as it turned out) album, which came out in 1989 by New Renaissance Records, Ann Boleyn’s record company.
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\r\nAs far as the music is concerned, the album can be defined as a genuine example of the American power metal school of music, since it contains everything that describes the genre; guitars with amazing riffs at the up-tempo songs, heavy sound that shows in the mid-tempo songs and numerous influences from Judas Priest. Someone that isn’t familiar with the band might think they are from Seattle, since their sound shows many similarities with bands like early Queensryche, Fifth Angel or even Sanctuary. The listener can easily see that this is an album very well prepared and cared for, since all the songs are well-written and flawless. That is a direct consequence of the fact that the main body of the album was decided on long before it got recorded and of course four of the songs were also included in their demo. That doesn’t take away any part of the album’s value at all and the result vindicates Oliver Magnum for an album in which it is really hard to find any flaws. We should mention the overwhelming first song “Sister Cybelle”, “Old Nites” whose basic riff flirts with speed metal sounds and also the slow but imposing “Evilution”. Like many other American power metal albums, this one includes an instrumental song; “Tongue Tied”, which is quite interesting and its melody kind of reminds us of Helstar’s “Burning Star”. My personal favorite is “Trapped” with its very distinctive melody and chorus that stays in your mind after listening to it. The only section in which there could be room for improvement is the production, which traps the album’s volume and hides Monte Humphrey’s really good guitars. In addition, James Randell’s voice could sound a little clearer.
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\r\nEven so, Oliver Magnum took their shot and delivered to us a pure metal album that can be heard with the same pleasure from start to end. Despite the really good reviews the album received and the fame the band had gained after its demo, the sales where very disappointing. Adding to that, the arrival of the 90s, that brought with it new music trades (like grunge), left metal with less publicity and support compared to the one it had back in the mid-80s. That came down hard on Oliver Magnum, along with other similar bands and James Randell left the band. Jimmy King took his place and in 1991 Mark Mueller came back. They released a few more demos, but the magic was gone for good and in 1997, Oliver Magnum split up.
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\r\nLambros “Metalshock” Panetas

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\r\nTranslation in english: Iro Kapeloni
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