By Stefan Nilsson, Roppongi Rocks
Swedish heavy metal trio Grand Magus’ ninth album is filled with muscle rock built on thunderous drums, doomy riffs and JB Christoffersson’s voice.
The Swedish metal band Grand Magus debuted in 2001 with a self-titled album. “Wolf God” is the band’s ninth full-length studio album and on it, the band continues to give us songs built on the band’s established formula of powerful and riff-happy heavy metal. Frontman JB Christoffersson is perhaps best known as the former singer for Spiritual Beggars and in Grand Magus, we also find Spiritual Beggars drummer Ludwig Witt and Fox Skinner on bass.
Lyrically, with song titles such as “Glory to the Brave”, “To Live and Die in Solitude”, “Dawn of Fire” and “Brother of the Storm”, the band roams in the same hunting grounds as Manowar and fellow Swedes Amon Amarth and Hammerfall. Musically those bands are also not miles away from Grand Magus, although Magus thankfully does not have the somewhat comical Viking/warrior image of those bands and there’s a tad bit more groove in this music. There are some doom influences here as well as old-school 70s hard rock. Thundering drums and doomy guitar riffs are topped off with JB’s voice. This is a hard rock trio with both muscles and brains playing battle music. The majestic “Spear Thrower” is the album’s highlight – kicking off with some fast guitars before JB’s voice takes control and leads from the front. “To Live and Die in Solitude” is a close second and “A Hall Clad in Gold” is also a contender. This is rather masculine music performed with power and skill.
Grand Magus’ album “Wolf God” is out now via Ward Records in Japan and Nuclear Blast internationally.