Artist- Grand Magus
Album- Wolf God
Genre- Heavy Metal/Stoner Metal
Label- Nuclear Blast
Location- Stockholm Sweden
FFO- Mastodon, Gypsy Chief Goliath, Black Label Society, Black Sabbath
Recorded at Sweetspot Studios in Sweden, producer Staffan Karlsson (Arch Enemy, Firewind) helps Grand Magus deliver one hell of a metal performance. Front to back this band has something special. How do I know that? Majority of the album was recorded in one take. In metal nowadays that is unheard of. These guys walked into the studio and played entire songs in one single take, which shows the confidence and talent. The confidence to play and know that it is gonna sound just right. Drums are a constant beat of power. Compliments the rest of the music quite well. From spurts of heavy double bass to very slowed down groovy stoner glory. This drum performance is one not to be taken lightly. Guitarist and lead vocalist Janne “JB” Christoffersson puts on one hell of a show on this record. Firstly, his guitars are damn near perfect. Riffs that don’t seem to end and grab the listeners attention from the very get go. Memorable solos litter the record and don’t leave much on the table. You can hear the old school influences in his playing. From Sabbath to Rainbow. And on top of all that, this man can sing. And I mean sing. Vocals that soar over the music with a sort dominant presence. Moving in and out of the groove of the music itself. Singing loudly and clearly.
One thing that Grand Magus do well is combine decades upon decades of heavy metal and create this incredible Stoner/Heavy metal sound. I can hear the Sabbath in the guitars. I can hear old school heavy metal in the vocals. This isn’t a sound that is played a lot nowadays. Some bands will dabble in it but can’t really grab a hold of it. Grand Magus bring the heavy groove on every track of this album. Tracks like “Wolf God” and '“Brother of the Storm” are clear examples of that. But they aren’t afraid to turn it up and really jam. “Spear Thrower” is a great song that sits right in the middle of album that catches you by surprise. Upping the tempo and bringing one hell of a solo. But it was the vocal performance on “Glory to the Grave” that made my hair stand up. The overall consistency is impressive. Hard to find anything wrong on the album. These guys have been around the block and know how to put out a heavy metal album.
Now I do believe Grand Magus are an incredibly underrated band. In a world of pig squeals and breakdowns, this band stand above the rest. Real musicianship and good music. I found my whole body moving to “Wolf God”, which can only mean one thing. This is a great album. If you like old school heavy metal then this the band for you. Groove is still alive and Grand Magus are still carrying the flag. Don’t miss this album. Open your mind and be prepared to move.
“Wolf God” is now available on all formats on Nuclear Blast.
Rating- 9 out of 10
Strongest Song- Brother of the Storm