Grand Magus – Triumph and Power – Nuclear Blast Records – Release 31-01-201
Starting out in 1996 with a mostly stoner/heavy metal oriented sound, Grand Magus gradually changed their sound with each release into muscle pumping heavy metal like old Manowar and Hammerfall. Their biggest rise to fame was with “Iron Will” from 2008 and since then they’ve only been increasing in stature, not in the least due to the very recognisable vocals of Janne “JB” Christoffersson. Let’s jump into their latest work “Triumph and Power”.
Grand Magus is:
Janne “JB” Christoffersson – lead vocals, guitar
Fox Skinner – bass, backing vocals
Ludwig “Ludde” Witt – drums
Triumph and Power
From the epic opener “On Hooves of Steel” all the way to album closer “The Hammer Will Bite”, this album is filled with strong heavy metal anthems, built for singing along to. JB’s powerful voice invites you to sing along with all the choruses with all your might. Even the most simple choruses feel epic with him singing, which you will notice the first time you hear him giving it his all with “On Hooves of Gold”. It sure had me singing along after the first time I heard it! With some songs the resemblances to other bands are easily made. “Steel Versus Steel” could easily have been a Hammerfall song, though luckily it doesn’t sound like “Steel Meets Steel” at all. “Triumph and Power” sounds like a great follow-up to Manowar’s “Blood of My Enemies”.
At the same time I can’t say that I mind, because the heavy metal spirit is very strong with this album. Epic lead guitar playing, sweeping solos, anthem-like choruses, marching drums and JB’s superb vocals make this a real treat for heavy metal fans!
“Arv” gives the album a nice break with a great folkish atmosphere, especially with it being followed up by the chanting intro of “Holmgång”. This song strays away from the previous muscle metal songs and has a nice groove going through it, though still keeping the catchy sing-alongs that make this album such a ton of fun. Before the end is upon us we get treated with the funeral march-like “Ymer”, going into the melancholic beginning of “The Hammer Will Bite”. Luckily it will soon be made clear that Grand Magus end the album in the same vein they started in; powerful heavy metal with strong lyrics and an extensive chorus that will stick in your mind.
While this album might not be all that original, it’s the great execution that will make it worth your time. The songs are catchy and filled with pure heavy metal and JB’s vocals could make a shopping list sound powerful!
- On Hooves of Gold
- Steel Versus Steel
- Triumph and Power
- The Naked and the Dead
- The Hammer Will Bite
Score: 4.3 out of 5
Text Robert Popovic