Grand Magus, everyone’s favourite Viking flavoured classic metal band of the last fifteen years, have a great discography. Each album is full of roof-raising classics, made to belt along with. The band’s 2012 effort, The Hunt, is no different. It comes highly recommended for fans of classic metal.
We start with Starlight Slaughter, a classic-sounding track with a great sound and a brilliant chorus. The second track, Sword of the Ocean, however, is about as classic metal as they come without you sticking on Run to the Hills. The guitar and drums follow the galloping sound of the bass guitar. It’s very, very Maiden-esque. The rest of the album follows suit by-and-large. There are heavier tracks, more epic songs and pieces that were put together for a good time.
The Hunt is an album chock-full of awesome riffs and catchy choruses. It’s surprisingly heavy for a three-piece outfit, too. There aren’t many death growls present (the odd bit here and there), but Grand Magus doesn’t need them. The vocal delivery is always spot on, with a great range on display. Unfortunately, it isn’t an album that tries to break any kind of new ground. It covers familiar ideas, both lyrically and thematically.
Grand Magus, as I like to think, write songs largely about metal. It never gets too complicated, with lyrical themes similar to those of Dio and Maiden, with a little Viking flair. While The Hunt doesn’t try anything notably revolutionary, it never has to. It’s a great record from start to end. It may sound exactly as you’d imagine, but that’s no bad thing. There is enough variation on the band’s rather limited formula to ensure you won’t get bored of the record’s nine tracks any time soon.
Simply put, yes Grand Magus might be a tad simpler than a lot of other metal bands, and they may rest on their laurels a little too often, but when your laurels are as comfortable as theirs, you can understand why. Grand Magus is a band that knows what they can do, and do it very well, time and time again. It’s just a shame that The Hunt’s mix is a little too heavy on the bass – the whole thing carries a slightly muffled sound. It’s not enough to ruin the record, but a better mix would have been nice.
The Hunt finds Grand Magus doing what they do best. It’s not a ground-breaking record for the band, but it is a great album from start to finish.