Triumph and Power
31 January 2014
by Rob McAuslan
Grand Magus have proven they know what makes for a good heavy metal record more than a few times already, with the likes of Iron Will and Hammer Of The North displaying a band so well-versed in the art of The Mighty Riff. Triumph Of Power may not mess too much with what’s become a bit of a formula, but that doesn’t matter in the face of what they present us with each and every time.
Grand Magus hew their monuments from the same raw materials as the greats, using pretty much identical tools, and because of this they get similar results. They might never have or even ever will write a ‘Holy Diver’ to be venerated for all time, but you won’t ever hear a bad song from them, and Triumph And Power does nothing to change this. It even does a fine job of adding to the list of “songs that would be brilliant to hear live” that seems to have rather a lot of Grand Magus songs on it already – ‘Holmgång’ feels like a natural fit between ‘Starlight Slaughter’ and ‘The Jury’ in a putative setlist already, for example.
Looking at it purely objectively: Triumph and Power is probably not as good as 2012’s The Hunt, but it has an immediacy to the choruses and a more anthemic quality overall which helps lift the weaker moments. JB’s voice is as strong as it’s ever been, Fox’s bass grumbles along most agreeably throughout, and Ludwig Witt does his usual excellent job of battering his kit into submission, and there are some properly huge moments of full-throat, arms-raised, hook-laden wizardry to sway along with a field/bar/hall (your summer viewing of these songs may vary) full of other drunken wallies to. But there’s no ‘Storm King’ or ‘Iron Hand’ to really pick up the pace, and it suffers more than a little for that lack of variation in tempo. It may very well prove to be a grower like their last album, but it feels a bit staid when placed next to their many classic works.
Sounds Like: Grand Magus on cruise control
Standout Tracks: The Naked And The Dead, Holmgång, Dominator