Words by Meghan Hall
Swedish metal outfit Grand Magus’ new album provides an incredibly satisfying listening experience, with the combined elements of classic heavy metal with blues influence infused, creating a heavy sound with elements of bluesy swing incorporated.
All in all, this album provides some versatility in the songs on offer, with reasonably good flow, immensely satisfying instrumental work, solid lyrical content, vocals and guitar work being a particular standout, Grand Magus’ blues influence also adds excellent swing to the album, which in addition to utilising catchy hooks and choruses, creates a thoroughly satisfying listen that becomes even more enjoyable with each subsequent listen.
Gold and Glory provides a classical style introduction to the album with a norse feel that leads into the title track of Wolf God, which is a strong heavy track with chunky chords and a catchy riff which sets the tone for the album, with a thick heavy sound combined with subtlety provides a simply awesome beginning to the album. A Hall Clad in Gold, starts off strong, but feels slightly mellower than the title track Wolf God. While a thoroughly enjoyable track, A Hall Clad in Gold lacks the dark intensity of the title track, however does end with some of the finest guitar work on the entirety of the album, which then leads to Brother of the Storm. Brother of the Storm is simply classic heavy metal with a bluesy swing at its finest, ups the dark intensity from A Hall Clad in Gold and brings it back up to that of the title track, it offers chunky chords with that classic metal feel, an excellent vocal performance and catchy lyrics, making this song very easy to headbang along to while belting out it’s lyrics.
The intro for Dawn of Fire offers a short break before launching into another satisfying heavy song which offers some chunky chords that while lacking the intensity of Brother of the Storm follows with some enjoyable riffs, which offer a very enjoyable build up to a catchy chorus that is very easy to sing along to.
The following track Spear Thrower however is where the album picks up in speed, with a faster riff kicking off an increase in tempo and intensity, the chorus and guitar work, while very enjoyable less inspired in comparison to the bluesy influence of Brother of the Storm.
Following is To Live and Die in Solitude which keeps up with the increased tempo. Offering an incredibly catchy set of lyrics that are perfectly matched by the excellent instrumental performance, this track features a brilliantly memorable chorus, that like much of the other songs on the album, grows more and more enjoyable with each listen.
To Live and Die in Solitude quickly bridges into Glory to the Brave, with the bassline for Glory to the Brave immediately kicking off, offering a momentarily more mellow riff which is quickly turns heavy offering some classic bluesy metal riff work, while this song is not as catchy as To Live and Die in Solitude, Glory to the Brave offers some of the best soloing on the album as well as some good heavy metal to headbang to. He Sent Them All to Hel offers one of the catchiest riffs off the whole album, with a classic metal feel thanks the classic rock and early heavy metal influences which are very audible on this track, the catchiness of both the chorus and the Christoffersson’s truly excellent guitar work on this track paired with an excellent chorus for this song only becomes only more enjoyable and memorable with each subsequent listen, which makes it one of the best songs on this album.
Untamed picks up the gauntlet thrown down by every song that came before it, offering an excellent final track for this album. Untamed is the culmination of everything that makes this album as good as it is, with the increased tempo, thick heavy riffs, some sharp guitar soloing and the best drum performance on the album combined with a chorus that elevates this song above the rest. Untamed is heavy metal at its finest, with a chorus that is simply begging for fans to belt it out loudly in unison. All in all, this is an excellent album, which is carries Grand Magus’ signature sound of blues influenced heavy metal. The songs themselves flow well, with very catchy choruses and hooks, which are further bolstered in terms of quality thanks to the performance of the band as a whole, especially that of Christofferson with his guitar work which elevates the quality of the album as a whole, Wolf God is a very fine album.
Grab your copy of Wolf God via Nuclear Blast HERE