Grand Magus – Sword Songs

Grand Magus
“Sword Songs”
Heavy Metal
Released: 13 May 2016

via Nuclear Blast Records

The Swedish power trio return with their newest collection of anthemic Viking anthems, Sword Songs.  After their last release Triumph and Power, Grand Magus have done more than enough to get me listening. As that’s when I was first introduced to them.  I have obviously gone back over their discography since then and it’s fair to say that they’re one of my favourites when it come to this music.

The album opens with the roaring “Freja’s Choice” and the expert instrumentation at takes over your senses. The pure intensity doesn’t let go until the final moment of the album. Janne “JB” Christoffersson’s energy is awesome and every lyric is clear. Everything on this album sound huge. This is standard for Grand Magus but their ability to make everything sound epic is outstanding, if not second nature to them at this point.  Sword Songs is a barrage of non stop anthems. One of the bigger one being the lead in single “Varangian”, which is so damn catchy you’ll be humming it for hours after you’ve heard it. This is a testament to the super tight production of the album. Every moment has impact and weight and the album is filled to the brim with imagination and poetry.

It’s definitely an album that rewards repeat listens. I know once I was done with the first play through I wanted it one again. The tight musicianship, the excellent riffs, the thundering bass and beat and the anthemic choruses. It all comes together here and it just hits you like a tonne of bricks.  All of the songs are brilliant but a few personal favourites “Forged in Iron – Crowned in Steel”, “Frost and Fire” and “Stormbringer”. These songs have grabbed my imagination and really keeps pumped.  

The Viking themes are grounded and interesting.  Although this sub-sub-genre is starting to develop very obvious clichés it doesn’t stop it from being very entertaining. The references to battle and Norse mythology always sound fresh and original coming from Grand Magus (as well as bands like Leaves’ Eyes and Amon Amarth). There’s just such a feeling of command and power in these songs, they’re simply too fun to not enjoy.

I love this record. Grand Magus have pulled off another great record and I know this one was short but I don’t have anything bad to say and the music really speaks for itself.  This one get’s a firm recommendation from me.

4.5/5

Mick Birchall

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One Response to “Grand Magus – Sword Songs”

  1. Great review 🙂 Just how I felt. However I still need to get my hands on the deluxe edition for the extra tracks, ie. strormbringer..can’t wait for that 🙂

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