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Grand Magus - Triumph And Power

Published February 05 2014

=Staff's pick

On Hooves Of Gold
Steel Versus Steel*
Triumph And Power*
The Naked And The Dead
The Hammer Will Bite*

Genre Heavy Metal
JB Christoffersson
Tracks 10
JB Christoffersson
Running time 40 Min.
Label Nuclear Blast
Mats "Fox" Skinner
Release 29 January 2014
Ludwig Witt
Country Sweden
Producer Nico Elgstrand
Similar artists ---

Triumph And Power is the seventh album from Swedish heavy/doom metal powerhouse Grand Magus. As with the two preceding albums, Nico Elgstrand is once again producing the album. I think he really nailed it with the production on 2012's The Hunt, which was a lot more dynamic than Hammer Of The North, but hey, why stick to a winning formula? Triumph And Power differs significantly from The Hunt and has more of a classic heavy metal feeling to it than any other of Grand Magus' albums.

This observation goes both for the sound but also, to an extent, for the song compositions. This is perhaps the most accessible Grand Magus album to date, with lots of strong choruses that will stick to your mind like glue and never leave. For instance, I can spend hours singing the chorus to the title track or Dominator in my head, over and over again. When I think about it, almost every chorus has stuck in my mind at some point.

On the one hand, it's fantastic how they can fill an entire album with such strong songs. On the other hand, in my experience very easy-listened albums don't stand the test of time as strongly as albums that offer more of a challenge to the listener. With this said, I do appreciate the new turns they take with some influences in this album. While the more rock-influenced from the preceding albums are nowhere to be seen, there is some use of mouth harp and other folk-ish influences that are especially prominent in the two instrumental tracks Arv and Ymer. It's nothing unique in the context of Grand Magus, but it still sounds kind of fresh and it gives a lot of atmosphere.

I did mention that the sound leans more towards classic heavy metal this time around and I do miss the doom metal touch in the production. Don't get me wrong, Triumph And Power still sounds like Grand Magus but the sound hasn't got the same unique identity as before and that's what got me hooked when I first started listening to them. I have no complaints whatsoever regarding the quality of the production; I'm just not 100% satisfied with the direction they took with the sound.

JB's singing is as always absolutely fantastic and while this album is small a step into more mainstream heavy metal, there is still an undeniable identity to the music. Hopefully this album will open up more people's eyes to what a great band Grand Magus is. In terms of majestic heavy metal albums, this is an ace. In terms of Grand Magus albums, it's good but perhaps not among their best.








7 chalices of 10 - Bjorn

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