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On disc: Grand Magus

Hammer Of The North - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars

Hammer Of The North

Hammer Of The North
(Roadrunner Records - 2010)

The Swedish trio Grand Magus was founded in Stockholm back in 1996. In 2001 they presented their self-titled debut album. At that days they were based in doom metal, but at their 4th album Iron Will they already showed a change of direction. Hammer Of The North is their 5th album - the first for Roadrunner Records - and there are only traces of their doom metal roots left.
With I, The Jury they kick off and right from the start they show references to NWoBHM band, in this case to Judas Priest, actually this one could be a Priest cover! And with the powerful, well-balanced sound it's a pleasure to listen to JB and his mates. The song is true NWoBHM, but with a modern production. The title track Hammer Of The North revives Black Sabbath (Dio era), but again they manage to add Grand Magus to the mix. Songs like Black Sails and Mountains Be My Throne are offering classic heavy metal, but sound fresh. Grand Magus will enchant you with their new songs - and sometimes surprise you! For Northern Star they speed up again and the Priest-ish sound is back. A catchy up-tempo rocker with guitar-driven and anthemic. Their doom metal roots are shown best at The Lord Of Lies. An album full of classic sounds, so Bond Of Blood reminds me a bit of Iron Maiden with Blaze Bayley... But the following Savage Tales offers a different shade of NWoBHM, this time with a dash of doom. The Ravens Guide Our Way is another great one, my personal favorite on the album. Actually you won't find a fillers on this album! All songs are on a high level and will entertain you for a long time! So, if you love heavy metal / NWoBMH, then get your copy now!!!!

9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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