Grand Magus – “Triumph And Power” (Nuclear Blast Records)
‘….the secret of steel has always carried with it a mystery. You must learn its riddle, Conan. You must learn its discipline…’. Sweden’s Grand Magus began around the turn of the century as a doom / stoner trio, and evolved recently into a more Viking groove, but this album is something else – heavy metal all the way!!!!!!!! Taking me right back to my headbanging youth in the early 80s when bands like Manowar, Saxon and Priest were treading the stages even this album’s title sounds like something from that era. From songs like ‘Steel Versus Steel’, ‘Dominator’ and ‘The Hammer Will Bite’ it’s clear that Grand Magus have also returned to their heritage from JB’s strong n soulful vocals – where you can hear the inspirational hints of Coverdale and Dio – as well as his crunching guitar work straight from the glory days of Ross The Boss, to the driving rhythm of Fox’s rumbling 70s bass and Sebastian’s solid, steadfast drum work. No fancy effects, no keyboard frills but just sheer power that resonates from their steaming instruments and smouldering amps! Individually they may only be three, but as a unit Grand Magus evoke a far more powerful sentiment, mixing romantic acoustic passages into their epic power, an almost musical interpretation of nature’s unbeholden virtue, provoking both awe and fear as if of the elements themselves. “Triumph And Power” is true to it’s word, containing battle hymns forged through the discipline of steel and heartfelt passion that stands this album as their finest hour!