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SERPENTINE PATH
‘Disfigured Colossus’
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BLACK ANVIL
'Eventide'
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'Erased By The Dark'
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21OCTAYNE
'The Heart (Save Me)'
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HARDWARES

GRAND MAGUS

Triumph And Power

(Nuclear Blast)

Reviewed by : Greg Pratt
Rating : 8.0

Man, one minute it's 2001 and you're just hanging out organizing your CD collection; next thing you know it's 2014 and you've got seven GRAND MAGUS albums in your iTunes. And you probably have a hard time telling them apart (at least musically; visually, there's that weird blue cover, there's that weird 'old wizard dude' photo cover...), but you have this vague notion in your head that this Swedish band is just one of the greatest modern-day purveyors of pure metal out there. And you (me, it's me, I'm talking about me) would be right. They're somewhere between HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE and HIGH ON FIRE but with a heaping dose of classic trad metal; they end up totally in a realm all their own, just slaying warriors and being metal, trad-ed up with a hint of muscular, slow caveman thrash (again, Matt Pike comes to mind... if he was playing in a band who ended up on Metal Massacre 2 back in the day). To be honest, I have a hard time telling these band's albums apart; I know some are doomier, some are more NWOBHM-based... but to me, it becomes less about song and more about overall encompassing vibe, which is always meaty, weighty, metal, and proud. Here, the band goes more for their trad, pure metal approach, with a big nod to Saxon in tunes like 'Steel Versus Steel' and the title track, which are anthemic, gravelly, almost old-school upbeat doom but mainly old-school trad and true. Triumph And Power is just the latest in what is becoming a long line of albums by a band slowly building and solidifying their identity as one of the coolest working the heavy circuit today.



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