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  GRAND MAGUS
'Sword Songs'
(Nuclear Blast Records)
Out Now

Johnny Main

johnny main


grand magus

Swedish trio Grand Magus take their influences from Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Judas Priest, Rainbow and Uriah Heep and their sound encapsulates elements of blues, hard rock, Heavy Metal and doom to create their unique sound.

The band was originally formed in 1996 by former Cardinal Fang vocalist Janne "JB" Christoffersson and bass player Fox Skinner and the fledgling outfit recorded their first demo in 1998, which led the band to an appearance on a Waterdragon Records compilation, 'Greatest Hits Vol. 1' in 2000 and this was followed by a split 7" LP with fellow countrymen Spiritual Beggars for Southern Lord Records.

Their debut self titled album hit shelves in November 2001, via Rise Above Records with who the band would release another three albums and this album has since achieved cult status within the doom and Heavy Metal genres. The 'Monument' album would follow in 2003 and 'Wolf's Return' came two years later by which time the band had stepped away from a doom metal based sound to a more mainstream Heavy Metal sound whilst still retaining the charm of their groove and stoner roots.

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Early 2006 saw the band embark on a European tour supporting Cathedral, along with Electric Wizard, showing that the band were not only a successful recording act but could also deliver a powerful live show. Their fourth album, 'Iron Will', was released in 2008, which garnered critical acclaim from rock and music press alike. However, the elected to leave Rise Above Records after this release and inked a deal with Roadrunner Records in 2009.

With Roadrunner they released album number five, 'Hammer Of The North' in the Summer of 2010, which became a breakthrough album for them. This release led to Grand Magus supporting on a joint headlining tour featuring Mötorhead and Doro, which tapped into the burgeoning fan base. The band have had several drummers over the course of their career and in April 2012 they recruited long time friend Ludwig "Ludde" Witt, previously of Spiritual Beggars, to fill the recently vacated drum stool.

With Witt on board, the band signed a new deal with Nuclear Blast Records who subsequently released 'The Hunt' in 2012. This was followed up by album number seven, 'Triumph And Power' in early 2014, which continued with the ground work laid by 'The Hunt'.

grand magus

Album number eight, 'Sword Songs' again sees the band once again in fine form, building on the previous two releases to produce another solid piece of work. 'Varangian' has a long instrumental intro that harks back to the bands earlier doom metal sound before the mid paced track starts properly. There's a good vocal performance from Christoffersson including any easy to remember chorus but it's the guitar riff that's the star here and a well performed guitar solo too.

The follow up track, 'Forged In Forged In Iron - Crowned In Steel' sounds like it could be the album's token ballad with its soft acoustic intro before it kicks up a notch as the drums and guitars blast out with Skinner coming through well. It develops quickly into a fast paced "fist in the air" type number with another easy to remember chorus. Christoffersson gives a astounding vocal performance in the middle section and the track quickly supplanted itself as a firm favourite of mine from very first listen, and I don't see this changing despite repeated listens.

'Master Of The Land' continues the brisk pace with Witt's drums leading the way. It's an inconsistent drum beat but certainly demonstrates his talent whilst Christoffersson gives one of his best vocal performances overall whilst his guitar solo is somewhat understated. 'Frost And Fire' is another faster paced number with an outstanding guitar solo from Christoffersson that's a bit more upbeat than some of the other tracks. His guitar stabs are thrown in at the back of the mix as an extra bit of texture whilst the guitar solo is technical and well played – a future Grand Magus classic track I'm sure.

Towards the end is the instrumental track 'Hugr' with its what sounds like a ticking clock featuring as percussion along with an acoustic guitar. It shows the band can do subtlety and they can do it very well, as the track takes its time. Album closer 'Everyday There's A Battle To Fight' is a slower almost plodding number backed up with a razor sharp guitar riff from Christoffersson whilst the drums from Witt are simple but effective. Christoffersson gives a sincere and softer vocal performance than on some tracks but overall it's a majestic end to a great album.

You can see the official video for 'Varangian' here:



You can see Grand Magus live here:
Sunday 12th June – Download Festival, Donington Park
Friday 17th June – Graspop Metal Meeting, Dessel
Sunday 19th June – Hellfest, Clisson
Thursday 7th July – Rockharz Festival, Ballenstedt
Wednesday 17th August – Summer Breeze, Dinkelsbühl

'Sword Songs' Tracklisting:
Freja's Choice
Varangian
Forged In Iron - Crowned In Steel
Born For Battle (Black Dog Of Brocéliande)
Master Of The Land
Last One To Fall
Frost And Fire
Hugr
Everyday There's A Battle To Fight

Grand Magus are:
Janne "JB" Christoffersson – Vocals/Guitar
Fox Skinner – Bass Guitar/Backing Vocals
Ludwig Witt – Drums


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10.6.16







NOW AEROSMITH FANS CAN HAVE THEIR NAME IN FUTURE COLLECTOR'S ITEM

aerosmith

Here's a fabulous Aerosmith pictorial document as seen through the lens of famed British photographer Tony Mottram. Tony photographed the band over many years for various magazines and now has a monthly column here on MetalTalk.

As was often the case, only one photo ever got published and in the fast moving world of weekly magazines sometimes entire sessions would be done and left undeveloped.

Tony started shooting Aerosmith from towards the end of the period with Jimmy Crespo and Rick Dufay and onwards through the return of original members Joe Perry and Brad Whitford that resulted in the albums 'Done With Mirrors', 'Permanent Vacation' and 'Pump'.

aerosmith

As well as shooting the band several times in England, this collection includes images from a session at the band's rehearsal room in Boston. Littered throughout is a mixture of live and off stage photos including a selection of photos taken at London's famous Marquee club when they were joined on stage by Jimmy Page.

This limited edition hardback book, presented in a flight case and printed on silk paper, is an opportunity to own a unique selection of photos, most of which have never seen the light of day before.

This unique item is presented in an aluminium flight case and will be published in late November. Earlybird subscribers who order by 31st October will have their name printed within a dedicated page in the book.

To be sure not to miss out on this unique, future collector's item, hit the PayPal button here:



Publication date: 31st November 2017
ISBN: 978-1-908724-81-6
Format: Casebound.
Pages: 128 pages, printed on 170 gsm, silk paper.
Size: A4 landscape.







 


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