"Magnified" (2009) reviews

When I listen to Kingdom Come's latest release Magnified, I can't help but feel this is how Steelheart's last album should have sounded. Both CDs are far removed from the band's original days, but in the case of Kingdom Come vocalist Lenny Wolf hasn't changed a bit. His voice isn't hidden in distortion and overdubs, and even though the music itself has 'matured', at least fans can still relate to that voice. That simple fact makes all the difference in the world.

If you are expecting to hear "Get It On" or "Do You Like It" all over again you'll be disappointed. To call this a hard rock album would be expanding the definition of the genre. Magnified is what it is, a fairly mellow and somber offering, a collection of songs that likely wouldn't work fans into a frenzy at a live gig, but it may bring out some lighters.

As a whole Magnified doesn't offer much variety, yet it does manage to draw the listener in. "24 Hours", "Over You" and "Unwritten Language" could all be considered heartfelt ballads with the former not that far removed from the band's humble beginnings. Meanwhile, "So Unreal" is the type of song that always gave Kingdom Come the Led Zeppelin 'clone' tag. As far as actual rock songs go, there are only a few like "No Murderer I Kiss", "Sweet Killing" and "Hey Mama" (which includes one of the few memorable guitar riffs).

Magnified may at times seem like Kingdom Come is trying too hard to be current, yet it isn't a completely unexpected release from Lenny Wolf and his latest collection of sidekicks. If any bands want to evolve/change their sound, this CD is the perfect example of how to do it successfully. Be forewarned though, you'll need an open mind to get into Magnified.

Reviewed by This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for Sleaze Roxx, March 2009

Up to now, Lenny Wolf´s Kingdom Come has gone through 8 different record labels, around 20 musicians in different line-ups and released 11 albums including this new one "Magnified". But ever since the 2002 album "Independent", all albums has been performed and recorded by Lenny himself. If the previous record "Ain´t crying for the moon" was KC´s heaviest record, then the new album is the most laid back album with loops and a more keyboard based sound. Lenny releases "Magnified" on the new label Planet Music and even if it doesn´t match his best albums "Hands of time" (1991), "Independent" (2002) and Kingdom Come (1988) - the new one is in fact real good. But will the fans welcome this new more soft sound? I don´t mind.

I noticed that the album grows for each spin so don´t give up on it the first time you hear it, Lenny rocks hard on the first tracks "Living dynamite" and "No murderer I kiss" but I wonder if the ballad "Unwritten language" isn´t the best song after all. I love the atmosphere in this song!

If you still prefer the early albums of KC, then the riffrocker "Hey mama" will please you for sure. There´s another version of "24 hours" recorded that I hope Lenny will release as a bonus for a future release, this one is one of the best songs on the new album. If you took away Lenny´s voice on "The machine inside", you couldn´t guess it was KC - I welcome new thinking so thumbs up Lenny!

Reviewer Kaj Roth (Staff)