Released by: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: April 19th, 2019
Janne “JB” Christoffersson – Guitars, Vocals
Mats Fox Hedén Skinner – Bass
Ludwig Witt – Drums
Gold and Glory
A Hall Clad In Gold
Brother of the Storm
Dawn of Fire
To Live and Die in Solitude
Glory to the Brave
He Sent Them All to Hell
Swedish trio Grand Magus has always been a reference point for the lovers of Classic Heavy Metal, mostly after their decision to change their early years’ music style, from doom extreme metal to a more traditional sound. Their ninth studio album’s release was anticipated a couple of months ago by their first single which is also the title track “Wolf God”. The sequel of the very successful “Sword Songs” is being published almost after three years and it seems to follow the same path of its predecessor, musically speaking. The riff masters have kept their classic music style even if there are still many elements of extreme metal left in their melodies. The Scandinavian band has always been a guarantee for the solid and professional music they have created through the twenty three years of their existence, so “Wolf God” can’t be the exception to that rule. This new record includes ten brand new tracks with big impact on the listener, just as the previous projects of Grand Magus, a group which has always created music with great personality and quality. So, in this case, the recipe remains the same, but after listening the album a few times, it seems that the group has tried to give a memorable character to the songs.
This was done by using catchy, easy lyrics and simple guitar riffs mostly at the refrain of the tunes, so that they are not easy to forget. The intro track, “Gold and Glory”, an medieval instrumental song is followed by “Wolf God”, a pure heavy metal song with great guitar riffs and interesting solos at its final part. The music style remains the same with “A Hall Clad in Gold”, but “Brother of The Storm” that follows has a more hard rock feeling, a powerful but mid tempo melody with an epic chorus. Moreover, “Dawn Of Fire” seems to keep the style of the previous song, but the speed gets higher with “Spear Thrower”, a pure power metal track that brings the intensity back to a big level. Another epic, glorious song is “To Live and Die in Solitude”, a fast paced song that gets slower during the refrain with an effective riff and catchy lyrics. At the last section of the album, we find “Glory To The Brave” and even if the mind goes to the smashing ballad by the great Hammerfall, here the case is different.
Although the tune starts in a jazzy way, it soon ends to be a typical Grand Magus song, maybe with a few progressive elements. “He Sent Them All to Hell” is a hard rock, easy listening track, a more commercial one with a pleasant feeling, but maybe indifferent. The album ends in a powerful way with the badass “Untamed” and an epic solo at the final part of it.
The contribution of the raw, dynamic vocals is fundamental to the heavy style of the songs, even though they seem a bit monotonous. In conclusion, “Wolf God” is a good record, where the Swedish band has kept their standards in composing solid melodies and writing great lyrics, even though this fresh project has nothing new to offer to their discography. It’s an album that will please the fans of the group no doubt, but maybe it’s slightly inferior to the material the band has usually created through the years.
Written by: Katerina Paisoglou