Grand Magus - Wolf God review



Reviewer:
8.0

75 users:
7.56
Band: Grand Magus
Album: Wolf God
Release date: April 2019


01. Gold And Glory
02. Wolf God
03. A Hall Clad In Gold
04. Brother Of The Storm
05. Dawn Of Fire
06. Spear Thrower
07. To Live And To Die In Solitude
08. Glory To The Brave
09. He Sent Them All To Hel
10. Untamed


It if ain't broke, don't fix it.

If you ever want a definition of a band who are so consistent that you can set your watch to them, then you would be hard pressed to find a better candidate than Grand Magus, a band who through hard work and quality output have carved out their very own niche. While the band have never broke into the upper echelons that their music threatens to, they reward those who are in the know time after time, and that is no different with Wolf God.

Releasing yet another album that deserves to break bigger than it ultimately will is something of a trademark for the band, next to the strong doom-infused heavy metal they peddle. Led by the strong and instantly identifiable voice of Christoffersson, Grand Magus forge ahead with some minor tinkering to the formula. Skinner is once again the other component to the band's sound, locking down the rhythm with a firm and chunky bass that is utilized like a battering ram. By now Witt is making the drummer's stool his own; this being his fourth outing with the band, he rounds out the sound with heavy yet understated drums that serve to tie up the loose ends and complete the package. Wolf God continues where Sword Songs left off, more Viking-tinged doom metal but with a slight tonal change, drifting slowly away from the somewhat stoner-ish tones and embracing a greater focus on the doom element of their sound. While there are exceptions to this, the album hits harder without having to throw more punches, instead loading each one with the force of a group combined. Check out "Glory To The Brave" and the title track for examples of this.

The highlights of the album have to be "Dawn Of Fire", which sees the band utilize choral chants and push Witt to the fore, with large booming drums to create an epic-sounding track that doesn't dwell on setting the scene but oozing it from the off; and "Untamed", which nails its tempo shifts with precision, creating a dynamic song that encapsulates slow headbang moments with up-tempo circle pit action, such hat you will be drawn into its whirlpool thrall with ease. The album doesn't stray far from the formula, by now long established, but when it does, it is to good effect. "He Sent Them All To Hel" is remarkably similar to a glam metal song, from the riff to the structure and the chorus, which screams Sunset Strip. It isn't a bad song by any means, but the curveball does kind of spin around and clock you in the side of the head without you immediately recognizing so.

If that level of tinkering with the formula isn't far enough away from the Grand Magus sound for you, then it is likely that Wolf God will be an album that will your pulse racing; it is fan service but one that doesn't require prior acquaintance for any newcomers. While the album can serve as a jumping-on point for those who have yet to hear the band, I can imagine many (myself included) would still point you in the direction of Iron Will and The Hunt, though I would say so in addition to this record.

I must admit the album wasn't the immediate hit I expected from the band; with the band normally just throwing their lot on the table and telling you what you see is what you get, it's unusual for a Grand Magus record to need to grow on you, but hey, first time for everything right? While it wasn't that it was bad, after a run of albums so strong that they can be used for construction material (results may vary), this at first seemed like a small step back. It was after a few listens that the songs clicked and Wolf God shined.

As daylight savings time approaches, time to set your watches lads.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 7


 



Written on 21.03.2021 by Just because I don't care doesn't mean I'm not listening.


Comments

Comments: 1   Visited by: 17 users
21.03.2021 - 13:29
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Brother of the Storm is their best here imo. Their best album to,
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