The riff lords are back! It’s been over two years since ‘Sword Songs’ was released, and the wait is finally over.
As soon as the “Wolf God” starts you are pulled into what can only be described as a Norse fantasy, with the opening track feeling like an introduction to a movie soundtrack or an episode of Game of Thrones. The band approached the recording of this album differently from previous albums by jamming and creating music together as live tracks – if this is the result then I hope that Grand Magus continue to approach recording albums this way.
Title track ‘Wolf God’ opens with the trademark heavy riffing you expect from the band and it sounds very tight, with JB Christoffersson’s guitar and vocals fully on point. ‘A Hall Clad in Gold’ opens with pounding drumming from Ludwig Witt, galloping bass from Mats Fox Hedén Skinner and then another awesome guitar riff. JB’s vocals are melodic and emotional, they also remind me a little of Rob Halford on this album.
As I mentioned in opening this is a very atmospheric album – ‘Dawn of Fire’ opens and closes with the sound of rain and sounds fantastic through headphones. The opening riff on ‘Spear Thrower’ kicks you in the face and then the song gallops away with JB’s voice seeming to float along with the track. The intro and opening music to ‘Glory of the Brave’ has a nice doomy feel to it and the musicianship is outstanding and to me is one of the highlights of the album. Its steady pace is broken halfway through with yet another fantastic riff and guitar solo from JB, then dropping back to its initial feel with a great vocal finale. The album continues strongly with ‘He Sent Them All to Hell’ and closes with the brilliant ‘Untamed’.
I have to say that I would regard this as Grand Magus’s best work to date and can’t wait to have it in my collection.
Grand Magus – Wolf God is out now via Nuclear Blast.