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Grand Magus - "The Hunt" (CD)

Grand Magus - "The Hunt" CD cover image

"The Hunt" track listing:

1. Starlight Slaughter (4:19)
2. Sword of the Ocean (4:28)
3. Valhalla Rising (4:51)
4. Storm King (4:23)
5. Silver Moon (4:43
6. The Hunt (5:24)
7. Son Of The Last Breath (Pt. I: Nattfödd; Pt II: Vedergällning) (6:49)
8. Iron Hand (3:44)
9. Draksådd (5:48)

Reviewed by on July 28, 2012

"JB Christoffersson effectively lays down his pipes and mighty riffs as a contagion of raw intense power, obstinately flipping a single finger upon a metal world diseased with grandiloquent and overplayed acts."

The three piece band is a dying breed these days in favor of larger more progressive ensembles, so Grand Magus sticks out like a modern day “über Raven.” The band has also proven to be one of the most reliable and solid traditional “doom laced” metal acts around. The trademark bursting riffs with stripped down and raw production is a leather and spiked sucker punch to the mouth. It may not present a particularly new style of metal, but it is perfect for those who love metal pure and wrought with preservatives, but with no additives of pomp and circumstance. “The Hunt” is more of the same from Grand Magus, however the band adds a little more pure rock ‘n’ roll into the formula than with the previous release “Hammer of the North.” What you can expect with “The Hunt” is more driving, headbanging fun from a band that continues to rise.

Clocking in at a swift, but decisive 44 ½ minutes, “The Hunt” is an album of uncompromising epic Viking rock ‘n’ doom goodness. Guitarist/Vocalist JB Christoffersson effectively lays down his pipes and mighty riffs as a contagion of raw intense power, obstinately flipping a single finger upon a metal world diseased with grandiloquent and overplayed acts. Save for the first half of “Son of the Last Breath,” there are no ceaselessly interminable interludes with over-dramatic orchestration, which would only serve to suck out the purity of Grand Magus’ greatest element: power.

The opener “Starlight Slaughter” is more straight up rock that starts like a variation of W.A.S.P.’s “Wild Child.” Fear not, for the galloping of a thousand triumphant neddies ride hard and free on “Sword of the Ocean” and the album’s best track “Valhalla Rising,” which is one of the most infectious grooves penned by the band to date. This is followed by the typical “traditional metal beaten with a whisk of doom” recipe on masterpieces “Storm King” and “Silver Moon.” These songs scream bad ass. The epic “Son of the Last Breath” starts slow but builds into an anthem as heavy as the hammer of Thor, the rally call to revenge (“Vedergällning”) and ending on a slow outro setting up the brilliant speed of “Iron Hand.” The album wraps as it starts, with the rock ‘n’ doom “Draksådd.”

Grand Magus breaks no boundaries and gives no compromises with “The Hunt.” If you loved the back catalog and like your Magus pure and true, than “The Hunt” will prove just as worthy. Does it match the sheer greatness that was “Iron Will”? Perhaps not, but I enjoy this band’s style so much that my expectations were set at realistic and the band managed to exceed it.

Highs: Uncompromising doom laced traditional metal.

Lows: Some fans will find this as "more of the same."

Bottom line: "The Hunt" for bad ass rock 'n' doom viking metal ends here!

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)