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Grand Magus - 'Sword Songs' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/46/61/6f/Grand-Magus-Sword-Songs-34-1471892667.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     August 22, 2016    
 
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Stoner, yes, Metal, sure, seventies lovers, undeniably and Viking Metal stars, with some force. All this and more.

You can't accuse Grand Magus of standing still. They may be twenty years and eight albums in, but their subtle musical changes show just how they have soaked up what is out there and what they are supposed to be.

For this album is redolent of the Viking/Battle Metal which many crown them with. They have come heavy with 'Sword Songs', the backing relentless and chunky, the riffs hard and fast – rather like the front line of an All Blacks rugby team.

Opener 'Freja's Choice' is almost frightening with the size of the riff, 'Forged In Iron – Crowned In Steel' even has a chorus of "Viking Metal", the attack can be as sharp as a stiletto and as neat as Felix Unger's flat; this is clearly a very good thing and is what Grand Magus main-man Janne "JB" Christoffersson said they would do.

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But there is so much more than this. The songs may be ringed with steel, but they occasionally lift the swords to show you the vibrant colours and warmth within; some lovely Thin Lizzy ('Verangian'), some simple but enjoyable soloing ('Last One To Fall'), a seventies Hard Rocker which almost rides the Rainbow ('Every Day There's a Battle To Fight') and the heaving, Classic Rock ('Frost And Fire').

They have never been content to be what they say they are or are expected to be; Stoner, yes, Metal, sure, seventies lovers, undeniably and Viking Metal stars, with some force. All this and more.

This Magus has some wisdom...

Steve Swift

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