167. Big Bang – Magdallan

BIG BANG (1992)


Magdallan’s “Big Bang” is the audio definition of an album that was hurt by too many delays in its release. Delayed well over a year (maybe two?), the album would have been the best album in its genre in 1989, but two or so years later and the whole music world changed. but even taking that into consideration, when one considers the album exclusively on its merit it cannot be denied as truly great work.

The title may also be a track on the album, but it is also an adequate description of the totality of the album. It is BIG. Really, really big! Production is over the top with literally hundred of vocals layered on top of another and blazing guitar solos that are simply unmatched in CCM.

I had lunch one day with Ken Tamplin and he spent the entire time talking about Hal Lindsey and the soon coming end of the world. I was really into the topic at the time and was fascinated. My ideology has shifted drastically in the past 25 years, but even though the album comes across like a track for the Pre-Trib Rapture theory, I cannot deny the unequaled quality of the album.

The theme is so interwoven throughout the project that it becomes inescapable. the lead track is called “End of the Ages” and the content lyrically should be clear without any discussion. But what shines here though is some thoroughly enjoyable late 80’s guitar god, over-the-top solos.

Though Tamplin was the lead vocalist for the project and primary songwriter, it should be noticed that the band really belongs to Lanny Cordolla. The famed House of Lords guitarist enlisted the help of his former band mates to round out the rest of the band. The high level of musicianship sets the record a[part from the rest of its contemporaries. This is showns in the diversity of arrangements and some of the greatest drumming on any arena rock album.

Other stand outs include the title track, Radio Bikini (about the American nuclear bomb testing around WW2) and the ballad Wounded Heart. Despite a Dove Award nomination, the album never met sales projections though it was the best selling album for Intense Records (Frontline) of all time. Radio wouldn’t touch the ballads and the musical direction of rock radio had gone toward grunge and alternative.

  1. Shawn McLaughlin
    February 17, 2011 at 3:46 am

    I’m the weirdo who prefers the Lanny Cordola/Phillip Bardowell version of this band (Magdalen).

    • low5point
      February 17, 2011 at 4:36 am

      Wow…I can’t even listen to those albums…

  2. Sundog
    February 17, 2011 at 5:57 am

    Having grown up listening to poorly produced and recorded Christian music of the 70’s and 80’s, this album blew me away in production quality, despite the issues you mention. The problem, really, is that it was almost over-produced. Still, Tamplin’s voice, mixed with those blazing guitars, well, it speaks for itself.

  3. Greenchili
    March 9, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Currently listening to this. Took me a while to realize it was Tamplin doing the vocals on this. It’s almost like he’s channeling just a little Rick Cua. Anywho great album with blazing guitar solo’s and drumming like you said.

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