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Grand Magus - Wolf God

Grand Magus
Wolf God
by Chris Hawkins at 24 April 2019, 8:23 PM

GRAND MAGUS is one of those bands that seem to exist outside of time.  What I mean is whether it be the 80s, ten years ago, or now, the music exists and is a heavy contender for the truest of Metal.  This is Metal written from the conviction forged through tenacity and experience.  Forming in 1999 in Stockholm, Sweden, the band has now released its ninth full-length with “Wolf God”.

The title track comes in second and immediately sets the precedent tone.  Playing from heart with a genuine love for classic JUDAS PRIEST, URIAH HEEP, and RAINBOW, the band successfully builds upon the foundation laid by the masters.  As the album rolls along, one is dazzled by the way the band delivers new, fresh takes on the genre of True Heavy Metal.

The third track, “A Hall Clad in Gold,” is propped up by the blatant bass guitar played constantly on ten.  Just like ‘OWAR said, “All men play on ten”!  This isn’t the only time the band reminds one of MANOWAR, but this is a clear example of GRAND MAGUS doing it their way, equally Metal.  The pure, honest lead tone allows the simple melody to truly cling onto one’s attention.  “Spear Thrower,” the sixth track, showcases a band versed in ACCEPT and BLACK SABBATH as well as those previously mentioned.  Again, the lead is short and sweet as it carves its initials in to the song’s arm.

Bass lovers who cut their teeth on Lemmy, Steve Harris, Geezer, and Geddy will appreciate this band.  Fox Skinner always manages to throw the bass up front in the mix with a uniquely crafted melodic rhythm hybrid.  Such is the case with the eighth track, “Glory to the Brave” with its hypnotic adventurous introductory bass line.  For the verse section, though, he kicks in the dirt for that raw, snarling, ravenous distorted tone which sounds so full as a three-piece.

Another tonal advantage of GRAND MAGUS is the gift of a purely faithful capture of the guitar sound.  Its soulfully expressive, round tone gives just as much aggression as classic monumental resonance.  Ninth track, “He Sent then All to Hel,” has a violently furious, classic, chunky Metal tone.  With its steady swagger, one cannot help but be reminded of a down-tuned version of “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’”.

In its now twentieth year, it is spellbinding to think of how many Metal fists GRAND MAGUS has seen in the air over the course of its career.  When so many other bands try to pump out material as funky hybrids of genres, it is refreshing to hear some True Damn Heavy Metal!   No, GRAND MAGUS does not reinvent the wheel, but does make it more Metal.

Songwriting:  8
Originality:  8
Memorability:  8
Production:  9




4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Gold and Gloyr
2. Wolf God
3. A Hall Clad in Gold
4. Brother of the Storm
5. Dawn of Fire
6. Spear Thrower
7. To Live and Die in Solitude
8. Glory to the Brave
9. He Sent Them All to Hell
10. Untamed

Lineup:
JB Cristofferson - Guitars, Vocals
Ludwig Witt - Drums
Fox Skinner – Bass, Backing Vocals

Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records
     


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