Thundering in from Sweden comes album number seven from Grand Magus, the band that personifies the embodiment of true heavy metal spirit. Formed in 1996, JB Christoffersson and Fox Skinner embarked on an epic journey of evolving heaviness. They welcomed Ludwig Witt to the group on ‘The Hunt’ and now with ‘Triumph and Power‘, the tectonic trio is once again in full voice.
The instantly memorable ‘On Hooves of Gold’ kicks off proceedings with an air of epic grandeur. JB reminds us that “the bastards will pay” before delivering a chorus that begs to be bellowed at top voice by the hordes of Magus maniacs. JB writes riffs that could carve the very runestones of Uppsala and coupled with the backline from Fox and Witt the result is splendidly crushing. The title track invokes the spirit of Manowar’s ‘Battle Hymns’ with its marching impetus towards victory. Themes that emphasise values from times gone by are nothing new to Grand Magus and throughout ‘Triumph and Power’ the lyrical content encompasses history, fantasy, sagas and mythology. ‘Arv’ offers respite between the chugging riff fury of ‘Dominator’ and the duelling ‘Holmgång’. The album’s production is immense and catches the strength and power of these three musicians hammering the listener into submission. ‘Steel Versus Steel’ and ‘Fight’ are a vintage sounding duo that would be at home on 2008’s ‘Iron Will’. JB’s voice is the heavy metal equivalent of a newly tarmacadamed road; smooth with a foundation of gravelled tone. There’s a definite nod to ‘Wolf’s Return’ during the epic 7 minutes of ‘The Hammer Will Bite’. Various twists and passages tell the story of Thor’s holmgång with the clay giant Hrungner. It’s a fitting epilogue to such a strong album.
Grand Magus has cemented another pillar in the halls of Valhalla. Ballsy and blistering, with a classic uncompromising sound; this is unrelenting brain shattering heavy metal. Packed tight with grit and determination, ‘Triumph and Power’ has enough fire to repel the Polar vortex. Raise your Hammers high.
1. On Hooves Of Gold
2. Steel Versus Steel
4. Triumph And Power
8. The Naked And The Dead
10. The Hammer Will Bite
The record was recorded at Studio Sweetspot in Halmstad, Sweden this past September with producer Nico Elgstrand and engineer Staffan Karlsson (ARCH ENEMY, SPIRITUAL BEGGARS).
Triumph And Power is set to be released on January 31 (Europe) and February 4, 2014 (N. America) via Nuclear Blast.
Janne “JB” Christoffersson – lead vocals, guitar
Fox – bass, backing vocals
Ludwig “Ludde” Witt – drums[amazonmp3 asin=”B00HE7XCJ8″]