Grand Magus – Triumph And Power | Review

Less is more on Triumph And Power. A band prided on keeping the flame of traditional heavy metal burning blindingly bright, they are more focused on writing timeless songs than they are with melting your face and bending your mind. That’s not to say they aren’t capable of doing so, rather, it takes more skill to show such restraint and let the songs speak for themselves. What we have here is everything you’d come to expect from Grand Magus, turned up to 11 and with a massive pair of balls.

This is fist pumping, Judas Priest inspired metal all about fighting for glory and wiping the blood off your battle-worn sword. Succinct, powerfully catchy tunes with head bang friendly riffs aplenty; Triumph And Power is a powerful triumph.

"Steel Versus Steel" boasts an uncanny swagger that brings a smile to your face instantly. While their influences are clear to see. While the wheel is far from being re-invented here, it is ceaselessly fun. Its anthemic chorus provides one of the many highlights to the record, irresistible to sing along and tap your foot to.

"Fight, Triumph And Power," and "Dominator" (powered by some pounding drums topped with phaser for nostalgias sake) all follow suit, each with their own distinctively brilliant character. The rhythm section is as tough as an ox, as rigid and reliable as you can get, it provides the quintessential backbone to the album. There is always breathing space for Janne Christoffersson’s guitar to weave in and out of, sewing the songs together and cramming them into your head in the process.

While the opening 20 minutes or so of the record bears any real sense of diversity, you’re never left wanting it – such is the boundless strength of the songs. Yet, when they do change pace, dynamics and flavour with the funeral march of "Ymer" (named after a 1970s icebreaker ship) you’re left unconditionally absorbed. It flows effortlessly into "The Hammer Will Bite," a mid-paced curtain call merging droning guitars, lead harmonies and another bombastic chorus; it closes the album in the best style possible.

Frankly, there just isn’t a weak song on here. High-octane heavy metal that does everything you want with astonishing conviction, this is a record deserving of dizzying heights. The flame burns on.

Phil Weller

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Phil Weller is a freelance writer with over 4 years experience of journalism under his belt. Having created pieces for the likes of BBC Radio 2 and reporting on the London 2012 Olympics, he began writing about the music he is passionate at the turn of the year. He and now writes for various sites including Planet Mosh, Manchester Rocks and Sludgelord. Follow his deluded ramblings @philipweller.