29. Sacred Blood, 'Divine' Lies – Let’s Make It 20!
In 2015 the first information about the next album started to trickle in. The title “Sacred Blood, “Divine” Lies” was announced in April. In a short video in June Bob first revealed some of the song titles they were working on before playing the festival shows. These were: “Crazy Old Mothers”, “Quiet Rhapsody”, “No God Or Saviour”, “Twelve Men Wise And Just”, “Don’t Grow Up”, “Phantom Of Paradise Circus” and “Gypsy Queen”. In total the band were working on 13 songs to be recorded by autumn, then mixed and the album was announced for 26. 2. 2016. Al mentioned in an interview that there were also plans to re-record “Days Of No Trust” in an acoustic version as a bonus track, but that was dropped or postponed.
Rodney met up with the band by the end of June and produced a first pencil drawing according to Tony’s ideas for the cover. Al posted a photo of that on facebook so everybody could throw a first glimpse at it. The drawing showed a big room and a person sitting on a kind of throne.
In November details about the new album were officially announced. Indeed, all 13 songs saw the light of day, ten on the album, which was to be released as CD, download and as double LP with CD in blue vinyl. Three more were included as bonus tracks on the DVD that came with the limited edition. These were: “Sacred Blood, “Divine” Lies”, “Crazy Old Mothers”, “Gipsy Queen”, “Princess In Rags (The Cult)”, “Your Dreams Won’t Die”, “Afraid Of The Night”, “A Forgotten Conversation”, “Quiet Rhapsody”, “Twelve Men Wise And Just” and “Don’t Cry Baby”. The bonus DVD on the limited edition contained three official videos for “Sacred Blood , “Divine” lies, “Crazy Old Mothers” and “Your Dreams Won’t Die”. Furthermore, there were three bonus audio tracks: “Phantom Of Paradise Circus”, “Don’t Grow Up” and “No God Or Saviour”. So the fans were in for a real treat. The original idea had been to include a DVD to be recorded at the Rock Of Ages festival in Germany 2015, which the band hadn’t been able to play courtesy of Air Berlin!
The two remarkable videos showed the band performing the first two album tracks. “Sacred Blood “Divine” Lies was a song about religious conflicts. Tony explained that it was originally written as a kind of poem and was adapted to the song later when the song had already been composed. and Tony commented on “Crazy Old Mothers”: “The song is about working in a job you hate, when you had such big plans for yourself but you were too scared to take a chance and follow them through!”
The cover was a real stunner. Rodney had designed an original idea by Tony Clarkin which reminded of the 11th hour-cover in its general idea. Painted in mostly yellowish colours it showed a dragon-like lord sitting in his throne room. In front of him there was a huge treasure and the boy from the Moon King-cover with his dog, facing him. The dog had obviously “extinguished” one of the levitating fire-bowls and shown his disregard of the villain in another way, too. On top of the throne there were a vulture and a raven, behind it eight ghosts. On the left, there was a bag, which looked very much like the Storyteller’s. The sword of chaos was lying in the middle of the treasure. Symbols from the Moonking cover can be found all over the pillars supporting the roof. Smoke emerged from a basin and formed the Storyteller’s hand. Even “Tardis” and Mickey Mouse can be found in the picture. Rodney said: “On the far left foreground is an antique computer shaped somewhat like a horse and a cobra. It is of course a Trojan horse, of the type you can currently expect to find spying and plundering your private information contained in your computer… welcome to the New World Order!”
Yet again the reviewers all over Europe gave the album top marks. Magazines in Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands, France, Spain and the UK loved the rocky approach, the heavy guitar riffs and most of all that the album had standard MAGNUM quality but still sounded innovative and fresh. A German critic wrote that “MAGNUM simply cannot make bad albums”, which is nothing but the truth.
“Sacred Blood, “Divine” Lies charted immediately. It went up to position 20 in Germany, 23 in Sweden and 31 in Great Britain, which meant yet another success. In special hit lists it went to even higher positions peaking in position 2 in the amazon Hard Rock charts!.
In an interview with a Dutch radio station on 30.1.2016 Tony even mentioned that he was already writing songs for yet another album…
THE SBDL-Tour started in May in Sweden and continued in Germany, Switzerland, Holland and the UK. The appearance at the Seebronn festival in Germany concluded the tour in July. The band played in front of a huge banner depicting the album cover and were supported by the Russian band RED S’COOL in Europe and By VEGA in the UK. Especially VEGA were hailed by the MAGNUM fans, too, as their performance was brilliant and the melodic rock they played went down very well with the audience. The setlist sported six songs of the new album: “Soldier Of The Line”/ “On A Storyteller’s Night”/ “Sacred Blood, “Divine” Lies”/ “Freedom Day”/ “Dance Of The Black Tattoo”/ “Crazy Old Mothers”/”Blood Red Laughter”/ “Your Dreams Won’t Die”/ “How Far Jerusalem”/ “Unwritten Sacrifice”/ “Twelve Men Wise And Just”/ “Les Morts Dansant”/ “All England’s Eyes”/ “Princess In Rags (The Cult)” and “Vigilante”. The encores were “The Spirit” in an acoustic/electric version and finally the inevitable “Kingdom Of Madness”. Yet again the band played in jam-packed houses with some venues being completely sold out. Although Tony had hurt his foot, he bravely continued even if he had to use a cane to get on and off stage. Everyone gave a marvellous performance and especially the fans at the Rock Of Ages were glad to be able to see them 8although a few songs had to be dropped due to the shorer playing time after their performance had to be cancelled the year before. However, they could also listen to Bob singing in AVANTASIA later that night. Fans were able to buy posters, T-shirts key rings and sew-on-patches at Annie’s merch stall.
The tour was to be continued in the UK with a few gigs in December and for April 2017 Bob and Tony were billed for the Rock Meets Classic concert series along with Don Felder from THE EAGLES, URIAH HEEP, Steve Lukather from TOTO and Rick Springfield.