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Grand Magus - The Hunt Award winner

Grand Magus
The Hunt
by Vasilis Odontidis at 14 June 2012, 9:54 AM

About a decade ago in my search for new Metal bands I stumbled upon the Swedes SPIRITUAL BEGGARS and started digging them out. I found other associated bands to them like THE MUSHROOM RIVER BAND of their singer at that time Spice. When Spice left SPIRITUAL BEGGARS and JB took over on the “On Fire” record I found out about his other band GRAND MAGUS. Approximately at this time “Iron Will” was released and “like the oar strikes the water” I felt awe and shock with that record. Having released another 3 records before that one (“Grand Magus”, “Monument” and “Wolf’s Return”) and “Hammer of the North” afterwards, 2012 finds GRAND MAGUS with another record in their suitcases. “The Hunt” is another record based on Viking and Norse Mythology and manages to successfully keep up the excellent quality releases of the band.

The Hunt” from the first listening has that feeling of a record that was made for the 80s. Name it production, playing style, music compositions or vocal lines it emanates a vintage aura. If I have to shorten out specific influences I would say DEEP PURPLE, MANOWAR and BATHORY. In “Starlight Slaughter” the vocal lines of JB reminded me of Ian Gillan in “Strange Kind of Woman”. I am not talking about the vocal range of course but the tone. Old MANOWAR and the “Blood on Ice” era of BATHORY glimpses and influences are found in every song but filtered through GRAND MAGUS style and musical interpretation. For some reason also I connect this record to the recent Demonaz record. There are no filler songs in here but if I had to pick some I would chose  the Purplesque “Starlight Slaughter”, the concert hymn “The Hunt”, “Son of the Last Breath” with its great violin melody and the maddening “Iron Hand”.

The Hunt” is a record that with no weak spots. It is both heavy and emotional, epic and powerful. The band is solid as rock and execute riffs one after another with killer precision. JB might not have the range for those kinds of songs - which sometimes is obvious - but he nails his vocal lines giving a terrific performance. The vintage production might sound strange in the beginning, especially the base drum and the cover reminds of an Assassin’s Creed version but when it comes to music it certainly compensates the listener. I will close this review with a few lines from “Son of the Last Breath”. Bless the mighty Thor, blood will stain your shores, swear I will return prepare yourself for war.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Starligh Slaughter
2. Sword of the Ocean
3. Valhalla Rising
4. Storm King
5. Silver Moon
6. The Hunt
7. Son of the Last Breath Part I: Nattfödd Part II: Vedergällning
8. Iron Hand
9. Darksådd
Lineup:
JB- Vocals, Guitar
Fox- Bass
Sebastian- Drums
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records
     


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