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Magnificent Fiend


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Audio CD, March 4, 2008
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Vinyl, March 4, 2008
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$48.78

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 4, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: American
  • ASIN: B0012OTVOO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,890 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Requiem
2. Dancers At The End Of Time
3. Calling Lighting Pt. 2
4. Lord Have Mercy
5. Nomads
6. El Rey
7. Goodbye Ruby
8. Riverboat

Editorial Reviews

Magnificent Fiend is the second album from Howlin Rain. By turns pummeling and pastoral, it oscillates between roaring, all-stops-out, Hammond organ-driven tracks and delicate electric piano passages, topped by harmonized, often dissonant guitar lines. Toss in counter-melodic bass, sometimes quirky breaks, and extended instrumental sequences that are either ascending to the heavens or cascading softly, from the skies in sparkling showers of gunpowder and smoke. All held together by Miller's distinctive, crushed-velvet roar-redolent of British R&B giants Steve Marriott or Terry Reid which extends to a sweet, plaintive falsetto and lyrical content. It is the first to be issued under a joint agreement between multi-platinum record producer Rick Rubin's American label and San Francisco-based indie Birdman Records. 8 tracks.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By hyperbolium on March 4, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Though they now have two guitars, bass, drums and keys/horns, at its heaviest Howlin' Rain drops the boom of a power trio. Think Cream's sonic punch, the heaviness of Mountain, the layers of Procol Harum, the overdriven blast of Vanilla Fudge, echoes of San Francisco Bay Area bands like Oxford Circle and Kak, and the folk/country influences of early Grateful Dead. Listeners may be momentarily fooled by the 54-second opener's horn-led suggestion of film noir, but the album's first full track kicks in with a lengthy instrumental of raging drums, organ and squalling psych guitar leads. Even the quieter breakdowns are often only short breathers from the full-on attack, with vocals from Ethan Miller (also of Comets on Fire) that alternate between raggedly hollered and moments of Jack Bruce-like tenor. There are a few moments, such the soulful "Nomads" and "El Rey," that are almost tranquil (at least, in comparison to the full-on jams), with the guitars giving way to bass, drums and electric piano before returning for hypnotic solos. The closing "Riverboat" is actually folky and pastoral, in an electric sense. Throughout the CD Garett Goddard (drums) and Ian Gradek (bass) provide the sort of musicality that leaves Miller's guitar free to fly. The instrumental stretches, even when thickened by Mike Jackson's rhythm guitar and Joel Robinow's organ, still feel elemental. The original trio's sensibility (as heard on the their self-titled 2006 debut) is still here, but layered with new instrumental and production complexities. [©2008 hyperbolium dot com]
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rick D. Evans on January 15, 2012
Format: Audio CD
That review below from Rusty leaves me in shock. He compares these guys to Thin Lizzy as a Lizzy rip-off? Wha? Now if he'd tried to say they take too much from Traffic, CSNY, Skynyrd, Allman, CCR, Doobies, Stones and Faces...well at least I'd know where he's coming from. But they're no rip-off, they simply play the style of music that they love -- as a lot of bands these days are doing like My Morning Jacket, Wilco, Decemberists -- and they do it so very well. So well, I think this was one of the best albums of the decade. If you love great rootsy blooze R&R, you'll LOVE this album.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By zphage VINE VOICE on October 18, 2008
Format: Audio CD
This is not as raw as the first, so fans of that record will not be pleased. However, I believe this a great transitional record. This is modern day West Coast psych with Allmanesquese Outlaws dual lead playing and funky driving organ.

Lead vocals are the weak point ala Robert Wyatt out of breathness, however harmonies are nice. Songcraft has improved over previous album, guitar playing is more focused which will not please some. The next album will show how important the move has been.

For those not familiar with the first album looking for something new to take a chance on try this, it is a screaming buy which may surprise.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Cerulo on April 9, 2008
Format: Audio CD
There are some record enthusiasts that may say this band/record sounds like Thin Lizzy...if you read that person's review, disregard the ignorant opinion. Maybe that reviewer is still living his past who owns several albums by just one artist. That reviewer may have sounded less ignorant if he compared the band to a more subtle sounded artist such as, Grateful Dead or even Floyd. That reviewer failed to break down the band into each section (i.e. vocals, guitars, etc.) I own each Thin Lizzy album and must say, when you tell me when you hear Thin Lizzy from this album, you let me know so I can sell my 2000+ record collection on eBay.
For now, this album has a retro feel from melodic interpretations of Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd, with the hard rock feel of Mountain and Vanilla Fudge(as the first reviewed stated) IF WE MUST COMPARE THIS BAND TO RETRO ARTISTS. I would rather state that this band is quite original sounding who puts great use to the organ, which we haven't heard too much in new rock lately. The vocalist is raspy while melodic at the same time when speaking about harmony. If you are older, younger or just a record enthusiast like myself, this album is a MUST BUY....hence the 5 STAR RATING.
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