Sunday, September 28, 2014

Heart Clad In Iron, Soul Clad In Steel

Grand Magus – Triumph and Power

Nuclear Blast Records – 2014

Muthas, Grand Magus has returned with their seventh album just a scant 20 months after the release of their last LP.  However, the band has decided to head down the path that leads to the mead hall of heroic epicness, rather than the more hard-rockin’ barroom of their previous album The HuntTriumph and Power is packed with loads of mid-paced, epic tunes that will get your head banging without becoming boring.  Main man JB wasn’t kidding in interviews when he said that this album would have been a huge seller in 1983.  This is 100% pure Scandinavian glory metal from the days of yore! If you were hoping that they’d return to their earlier Doom Metal sound, you will be sorely disappointed.   

The album does have several longer songs and it does take a bit of listening to get into some of them.  Unfortunately this is certainly true of the lead cut, “On Hooves of Gold.” This track seems a bit plodding upon the first listen, and a couple of speedier cuts up front would certainly help with the flow of the album.  However, there are several great mid-paced songs such as the amazing “The Hammer Will Bite” and the superb title track.  Check out the lyric video for “Triumph and Power” for a bit of Viking epicness:

The speedier cuts really shine on this album - “Dominator,” “The Naked and the Dead” and “Holmgang” in particular are good - but the absolute highlight of the album is “Steel vs. Steel.” Of course Grand Magus has no trouble cranking out a crushing song about Elric of Melnibone and his sword Stormbringer!  This song kicks ass with a memorable chorus and is sure to be a concert staple for Grand Magus in the years to come.  

 The lyrical theme of the rest of the tracks deal with tales of Vikings, battles, warriors, Valhalla, Frost Giants and Thor.  These are all worthy topics that certainly match the epic tone of the LP, and would impress even the mighty Heavy Load.  The cover art reflects these themes and is, quite simply, exceptional. It’s easily the best they’ve ever had on one of their albums.  It would make a great subject for a shirt, poster and backpatch.  In fact, the vinyl comes with just such a poster!


The Bottom Line:  Triumph and Power is an excellent album that is loaded with rock-solid traditional Metal.  It might take a bit to get in to the album, but it’s worth your time and effort.  Pick it up and get the vinyl for that kick-ass artwork!


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