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Country USA

Style CCM Hard Rock

After their first album Lanny decided to make Magdallan a full band so he Changed the name to Magdalen and recruited ex-House of Lords members Chuck Wright and Ken Mary.Songs on this quasi-Christian AOR CD. Ken Tamplin’s voice is in fine form and, when he doesn’t let it get out of control (“Big Bang”), it rivals a Coverdale or a James Christian. “House of Dreams” Is A MUST-HEAR ballad as is the sheer AOR perfection of “Radio Bikini”, “Love to the Rescue”, “Cry Just a Little Bit” and “Wounded Hearts”. P.S. Avoid the 1993 follow-up, Magdalen, with even hokier lyrics and no Tamplin.Koogles hits it on the nose. Wounded Hearts, Radio Bikini ,House of Dreams among the best.

The more you listen —-the more you like !! For tons more great Tamplin tunes visit Don’t forget the other band he formed -“Shout”-commercial pop metal/AOR. Lots of hooks, loads of talent, but way to clean and overproduced. Layer upon layer of vocals and overpolishing just robbed the rock n roll right out of this album. “House of Dreams” is a fantastic ballad. “Radio Bikini” is a decent hard rocking political rant. But otherwise, this isn’t one of Tamplin’s best.I much prefer his is, “REVOLUTION MIND” this album represents Lanny at his peak as a guitar player. It’s not a shred album, (although there are some shred elements in it), it’s tasteful, tasty guitar work! I would call it progressive/ R&B/Blues/Rock.

All the musicianship on this album is excellent. Chuck Wright’s bass playing is superb, and Lanny’s solos are without a doubt the most creative, innovative guitar solos I’ve heard to date! (Shawn Perry)”BIG BANG” Album This is the album that AOR fans have been clamouring to hear. Ken Tamplin joins forces with Lanny Cordoia to record what has been promised to be the AOR album to beat all AOR albums.

Unfortunately, this album fails in my opinion to even match other albums from the same musical direction. In order to highlight the admittedly stunning guitar playing of Lanny Cordoia (House Of Lords) the final mixdown lacks any real guts. You always get the feeling that there is an instrument missing. Another snag is rather colourless vocals.
PhotobucketI must admit to being no fan of Ken Tamplin’s vocal abilities, and this album sounds like his previous ‘Shout’ and ‘Tamplin’ offerings. ‘Big Bang’ may catch the ear of fans of melodic metal due to the fancy fretwork but I feel that all those people who have been eagerly awaiting the grandaddy of all AOR albums are going to be very disappointed.” THE DIRT” This is a world music album. The sound they produce is very much influences by a diverse selection of sounds from folk, Asian, blues, country and rock. Quite a mixture, eh? But then Cordola seems to be making a virtue of genre hopping as his last couple of projects have been jazz blues so at least he’s keeping himself interested. But will this latest effort inspire you to write home? Not convinced is the verdict here! Okay, so there’s an acoustic cover version of a Black Sabbath song “War Pigs” to open up. Erm, well, that’s certainly interesting, Lanny! (I even got the musical joke with the chimes and the Paranoid riff.)

Then there’s a version of Mr Marley’s “Redemption Song” which is nearly a copycat of the original and not very interesting! Then there are four Cordola originals tackling poverty, homelessness and alcoholism. The idea being that if we focus on the dirt of human existence we appreciate more of God. In the sleeve notes the band suggest that the songs are “six messages, in them find what you will.” Unfortunately, I found a Paul Daniels’ style “not a lot”. This is excellent music but a pretentious idea! “END OF THE AGE” ,A retrospective of Magdallan/Magdelan’s two albums and one EP. You get nine tracks from the releases plus seven unreleased eight-track demos. As ’80s influenced American rock goes the stuff from the Ken Tamplin-led album is good. “I sincerely believe that it would be virtually impossible to top the ‘Big Bang album,” is one of his quotes from the liner notes. This is questionable as it reflects his time with Shout (originally) and Joshua in style as well as his solo stuff. That’s not to say it is bad, just not over-the-top brilliant. With Philip Bardowell on vocals the style changed significantly and the material took on a darker edge.

Funnily enough, this gave it a more spiritual feel, for me. The album’s been released under the original spelling, so the demo tracks are all from the Tamplin era. There is nothing outstanding about them, or much which is obviously “Christian”. They are basic love songs in the main. In saying that, the quality of the recording, is better than some would expect from demos. Some of them were offered to other bands I believe, if some of the websites are to be trusted. It would have been interesting to hear some unreleased stuff from the later line up also, but that might have caused confusion with the band name(!). Of the originals, “End Of The Ages”, “Dome Of The Rock”, “Love To The Rescue”, “Soul Child” and “Bourbon Way” are my picks. I would also have included their version of “War Pigs” (yes, that one!) from ‘The Dirt’ EP. So, as retrospectives go, not bad.

It’ll be interesting to hear what, if anything, comes of a muted House Of Lords reunion. It will be interesting to compare where Larry Cordolla is now in comparison to this and other releases over the past few years.

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– Big Bang [1992]
– Revolution Mind [1993]
– Dirt [1994]

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MAGDALLAN, 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
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