It doesn’t seem that long ago that Grand Magus‘ sixth album “The Hunt” was released but such is the prolific nature of these Swedes that time just seems to fly by between releases. Although “The Hunt” was positively received there was an air of polish about it that signified another step away from the heavier doom metal of their earlier releases, and whilst “Triumph and Power” is closer to Manowar than it is to Candlemass in style it does have a suitably raw and thumpy production that is more evocative of where the band came from musically than their previous album.
The opening rally cry of ‘On Hooves of Gold’ is a bit of a giveaway as to where the album is headed, it’s mid-paced gallop and “Ride the Wind and Fly/On Hooves of Gold We Ride” chorus making it a fitting companion song to Manowar‘s ‘Hail to England’. But the real fun starts with ‘Steel Versus Steel’, where singer/guitarist JB Christoffersson is a goblet of mead short of a medieval reenactment as he paints a picture of battle over a huge guitar chug.
The title track offers up a little variety with JB going for a Neil Fallon-esque croon as the track builds to a massive chorus that’ll get the fists pumping in the moshpit, while elsewhere the mighty ‘Holmgång’ brings an element of groove and takes everything that Grand Magus are about and amps it up into a swaggering mass of riffage with a searing rock n’ roll guitar solo from JB that gives the song a real edge.
With “Triumph and Power” Grand Magus have made an album that carries on their Viking-inspired direction but retaining the power and sheer balls that a title like “Triumph and Power” deserves. How it sits within their catalogue of work only time will tell but there’s no denying that after only a handful of plays it’s an album that sticks in your head, and given the raw nature of the production once the band hit the road and play these songs live then they’re likely to have a new set of classics on their hands.