Swedish power trio Grand Magus are back with their new album Wolf God which sees them continue their decade long love affair with traditional heavy metal, their stoner and doom metal sound is all but gone. The strong Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Manowar and Saxon influences are mixed with a rich, beefy production to good effect.
After the superfluous, ye olde worlde instrumental ‘Gold and Glory’ this, their ninth album, is choc full of meaty riffs, huge choruses and tight songcraft that grabs you from the off. Be it the bombastic, mid-paced slice of cheese that is ‘Brother of the Storm’ or the frenetic, cut and thrust of ‘Spear Thrower’, it is a delight to behold. They have found their warrior inspired comfort zone and as the melodramatic beast of a track ‘A Hall Clad in Gold’ shows, they are more than happy to stay put.
Wolf God’s heavy and hooky sonic assault is as impressive as it is single minded, and comparable to Judas Priest’s latest record Firepower. Vintage flavoured headbangers about ancient gods, war, death and glory are the order of the day. The vociferous blast of blood lust ‘He Sent Them all to Hel’ and the lightning speed and impressive J.B. Christoffersson guitar work of ‘Untamed’ happily stick in the memory.
Do not get me wrong I am all for this, how can you not be after the battle cries, pounding drums and Maiden-esque gallop of ‘Glory to the Brave’, but I do yearn for a bit of variety. More texture, more light and shade, in amongst the retro, battle ready metal – the likes of which helped elevate 2008s Iron Will and 2010s Hammer Of The North from good to great.
That aside Wolf God is yet another decent slab of viking infused Heavy Metal with impressively massive riffs, tight choruses and cavernous drums, they know what they do and they do it well.