Grand Magus – Wolf God (Nuclear Blast Records)

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The Stockholm power trio that is Grand Magus haven’t put out a bad album. That my friends is a fact. Their combination of traditional heavy metal, doom and blues rock has proved to be a triumphant mixture over the years and each successive release has seen a notable increase in song writing ability which is an incredibly bold statement given how good their self-titled debut album was, and is. So I was expecting big things from their latest outing Wolf God. And I wasn’t disappointed.

I haven’t heard a more majestic opening than Gold and Glory since the days of Bathory’s Nordland  which plunges straight into the pummelling majesty that is A Hall Clad In Gold. Like the aforementioned Bathory, Grand Magus are a band whose lyrical content is steeped in Norse mythology and this album is no different. The thundering drum work combined with vocalist/guitarist JB’s soaring solos in Dawn Of Fire, adds a sense of drama to the record. Spear Thrower is a more upbeat affair with Judas Priest riffing accompanying another towering guitar performance. The lurching head nodder and stand out track of the album is He Sent Them All To Hel which sees the band venturing into AC/DC territory with a chorus that crowds will be hoisting their beers high in the air for, in fields across Europe, all Summer long. Finally Grand Magus send us on our way with more high octane Glenn Tipton style riffing in Untamed a song that rides out as if it were being played in the live in arenas across the globe.

Beautifully unfashionable, Grand Magus are an unassuming band who really should be bigger than they are. They’ve got songs that cross a multitude of genres and are perfect for those drunk European festival evening sing-a-longs. But if there was ever an album that was going to be break them to a wider audience then Wolf God is it. Do yourself a favour and pick Wolf God up today. Trust me, it’s the heavy metal album you’ve been craving all year... Chris Andrews

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