Grand Magus
The Hunt


4.0
excellent

Review

by Greg Fisher STAFF
June 1st, 2012 | 54 replies | 10,288 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Ballsy, hard-hitting and supremely melodic, The Hunt is a heavy metal album for the masses.

Traditional heavy metal has had a flourishing year thus far. The latest top-notch albums of Dawnbringer and Christian Mistress have brought the sense of purpose to this presumably stale genre, reinvigorating it with powerful songwriting as well as exquisite musicianship. The newest release of Stockholm-based Grand Magus doesn't disappoint either. Following on excellent Hammer Of The North, The Hunt revolves around the same formula that made the band's previous disc so appealing.

The trio once again has delved into accessible heavy metal that abounds with soaring, ultra-melodic vocals and infectious, driving guitar riffs. By now it seems that oppressive doom metal of their early offerings is long gone in favour of a more streamlined, not to mention traditional approach to song craft that has plenty in common with the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal and the output of Judas Priest from the 1970s. What easily distinguishes Grand Magus from their copious peers though is that their aptitude for channelling the spirit of that era feels perfectly natural and unforced. For instance, “Silver Moon” blends all its classic influences so swiftly that you can't help fist-pumping to its undeniable hook.

While The Hunt doesn't really stylistically deviate from the band's previous two discs, the production is much warmer and crisper emulating the vibe of 1970s proto-metal discs even to a larger degree. Janne ''JB'' Christoffersson remains a charismatic frontman whose admirable set of pipes allow for vocal lines that are both boldly melodic and powerful. Classic hard rock-inclined rhythm section comprised of Fox (bass) and Spiritual Beggars' Ludwig Witt (drums) provides a backdrop for JB's expertly-executed guitar work which sparkles with many memorable leads and superb guitar solos.

The main gripe that some critics may have with The Hunt is that Grand Magus refuse to progress beyond their own safety zone and thus there's hardly anything surprising about their music. However, the trio truly compensates for a certain lack of diversity with remarkable consistency offering a collection of nine songs that are all meticulously written and performed, except “Storm King” which may be a sole tenuous link featuring a fairly uninspired, repetitive chorus. The act's songwriting skills are so consummate though that the strongest tracks are difficult to decide upon. “Son Of The Last Breath” certainly stands out from the bunch since it is the most ambitious song on the entire disc. The seven-minute-long composition starts with a soft acoustic guitar play and beautiful strings that impressively build to a galloping, heavy metal groove. Not only is the song the most evident encapsulation of the Viking folklore the lyrics on the disc derive from, but also provides a welcome shift in style. Here's hoping that such elements will be more prominent on the forthcoming albums of Grand Magus since they bring another layer to the trio's formidable rendition of heavy metal.



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user ratings (46)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Juular (4.5)
The Hunt is the type of album that reminds us why we love this genre of music so much....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Voivod
Staff Reviewer
June 1st 2012



5921 Comments


Excellent review, pos.

Digging: Essence Beyond - Carnivalism

greg84
Staff Reviewer
June 1st 2012



7317 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Another top-notch Swedish release. Hail Sweden!

Digging: Dog Fashion Disco - Sweet Nothings

jopower
June 1st 2012



103 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is a truly underrated band. The band is a mix of Iron Maiden and Candlemass, and the vocalist reminds me of Chris Cornell.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
June 1st 2012



8318 Comments


Great review Greggy but these guys, sadly, don't do anything for me :/

greg84
Staff Reviewer
June 1st 2012



7317 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thx a lot.

I've really tried not to like this album so much, but I failed. These guys are just so consistent. There's only one song on here I don't particularly care for. It's still probably bound to grow on me.

TheNotrap
June 1st 2012



7983 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Nice work, have a pos.
Will check this out.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
June 1st 2012



7317 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks dude. I'm off to fight some dragons.

Tyrael
June 1st 2012



20740 Comments


glad to hear this is as good as I was hoping

nice review

KatatoNick
June 1st 2012



128 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great stuff. Son Of The Last Breath caught me out the first time I listened to the album, it is a grower though!

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
June 1st 2012



3336 Comments


This goes great with Diablo III. Sweden continues to rule! Sweet review, pos.

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

kount
June 1st 2012



1279 Comments


i second that it goes well with diablo 3 8))

CaptainDooRight
June 1st 2012



28353 Comments


Pos good review. I heard this on youtube the other day I believe and it was solid. Gonna try to give the full a listen.

Digging: Tukaaria - Raw to the Rapine

SteelErectedb4you8er
June 1st 2012



2613 Comments


As one of the biggest Grand Magus fans out there, I am definitely excited to check it out. I do hope in the future they do bring back their doom elements because Monument may be their best record; though, I love all of their albums heavily. I do like the NWOBH side of them, but as a big doom guy, I want their slow n' heavy riffs. Good review, Greg.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
June 1st 2012



5921 Comments


This should be featured at some point.

Tyrael
June 1st 2012



20740 Comments


I WISH I COULD PLAY DIABLO III

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
June 1st 2012



3336 Comments


What is stopping you Tyr ?

Tyrael
June 1st 2012



20740 Comments


I tried to play the beta and it fried my graphics card (not joking)

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
June 1st 2012



3336 Comments


Oh, that's bad, sorry to hear that. I struggle with mine too and I stopped playing it on the laptop. I just use from time to time some friend's laptop that's better than mine.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
June 1st 2012



20014 Comments


I might check this out at some point.

Great review, pos'd.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
June 2nd 2012



7317 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks guys. Now let's follow The Hunt.

The Hunt:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2QrnT--2mI

Valhalla Rising:
http://songpier.com/grandmagus







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