SWEDISH and proud, loud and proud, Grand Magus have become a force to be reckoned with following the masterpiece The Hunt - but how do you follow that? Simple just unleash the Triumph and Power a riff nirvana par excellence.
Drawing from classic rock, the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and their own Scandanavian roots this is a feast of tunes. While many of the fellow countrymen have become more and more intricate to the point they are disappearing up their arses, Grand Magus have proved that metal does not need the musical waffle.
JB Christofferon has masterminded another release in which the music is to the fore; no messing about just heads down hard working metal.
Title track Triumph and Power is anthem that will have fists pumping while closer Hammer Will Bite is a balls out metal track.
The Viking lyrical twist does not seem out of place amidst the songs - instead decidely appropriate in songs that would shatter Ice Giants...
Doffing the cap to their influences there is a reference to the Blue Oyster Classic Black Blade on Steel Versus Steel, and The Naked Dead has Judas Priest stamped over the riffs and the space
However, Grand Magus are about homage to the past, doffing their helmets to their forebears in music and adding a new, fresh interpretation to heavy metal.
There is not a weak track here as JB, Fox (bass) and Ludwig (drums) track by track produce a sensational ten tunes that compel the listener to bang their heads.
In Studio Sweetspot, with producer Nico Elgstrand and engineer Staffan Karlsson the fuss and then frills have been stripped away to conjure up a clean, powerful album. Even on the dramatic Ymer just the right amount of production has been added: to paraphrase the nursery rhyme, not too 'hot', not too 'cold' just righ as the snare drums merge the intrumental into the Hammer Will Bite.
Damn this album is good, very, very good. It's out now on Nuclear Blast - just buy it, buckle yourself and as Derry's finest Triggerman say let "The Riff Hold Sway"!