|Grand Magus - ‘Triumph and Power’ (Nuclear Blast)|
|Written by Jim Rowland|
|Thursday, 30 January 2014 03:00|
Stockholm metal merchants Grand Magus are a band that have largely passed me by up until now. I’ve caught part of their live set a couple of times over the years, once when they were part of the Rise Above roster, and once a little more recently from a distance at a festival when they had just signed with Nuclear Blast. They struck me as a band a little out of place on the Rise Above label, being pure heavy metal, but also a band that sounded like they had some good songs. I’ve heard not one of their previous six albums, so I can take a look at ‘Triumph and Power’, the band’s seventh album, with a totally open mind and with some enthusiastic curiosity.
What I discovered was a complete surprise. Firstly at how much I liked the album, and secondly how ‘true metal’ they actually are, with much of it reminding me of those leather’n’loincloth-clad pioneers of battle metal Manowar. Tracks like opener ‘On Hooves Of Gold’ (yes, hooves of gold, upon which they ride the wind and fly, of course), ‘Fight’ and the superb title track ‘Triumph and Power’ bear many of the hallmarks of Joey DeMaio’s boys. On said title track they even deliver the immortal chorus line of “I ascend to the sky by the dawn’s early light, fight for glory until death - Hail! Victory!” Best of all is the epic album closer ‘The Hammer Will Bite’, complete with atmospheric intro ‘Ymer’, which, like ‘On Hooves Of Gold’, has that epic, rousing, galloping quality of Manowar songs like ‘Battle Hymn’ or ‘The Gates Of Valhalla’.
Elsewhere, the Priest-esque ‘Steel Versus Steel’, ‘Dominator’, ‘Holmgang’ and ‘The Naked and the Dead’ are all steaming slices of top notch heavy metal. In fact there isn’t a sniff of a weak track on here. The sound is huge, the riffs and choruses gargantuan and the song writing of the highest calibre. This is an album packed full of hugely powerful, anthemic and catchy choruses that will have you singing long into the night as you sup from your drinking horn.
The band themselves consider this album to be their finest yet, and on this evidence I can hardly disagree. So brothers of true metal, guardians of Asgard and Manowarriors alike – raise your swords to the wind and let thy valkyries fly - ‘Triumph and Power’ is a triumph of steel!