Heirs To The Throne
A nightmare scenario: Joey DeMaio makes some modifications to his bass prior to a gig. He plays the first note & the resulting vibrations crack the earth open swallowing the band, stage & crowd. We now live in a world without Manowar. Who is going to fill their sizeable boots of steel? The answer can be found in Stockholm.
Grand Magus’s metamorphosis from average doom band to heirs to metal crown has taken little over a decade. As a serious contender for the title of Most Metal Man Alive, leather lunged frontman & guitarist JB demonstrates his impressive vocal range & delivers riffs the size of continents, all whilst oozing pure iron from every pore. There are no technical solos, no progressive tendencies, just a masterclass in fist-pumping metal.
Opening with I, The Jury, JB channels Dissident Aggressor-era Halford to embed the brilliant chorus deep in your brain stem. The title track is a perfect example of what happens when you take your big book of doom metal & apply every single lesson to a heavy metal song. By the end of the song, you will most likely find yourself topless on a snow swept mountain peak swinging a warhammer.
Black Sails takes us firmly into Running Wild territory whilst Mountains Be My Throne harks back to their early days as the doomiest track on the album. It’s probably my second favourite mountain-based song about mountains after Manowar’s classic mountain homage, Mountains. Everything builds to a climax on At Midnight They’ll Get Wise, which bears all the hallmarks of a future classic.
Without resorting to hyperbole, I can safely say that there’s not a weak track, just 50 minutes of perfect, old-school heavy metal thunder. Now, with the backing of a major label, Grand Magus are set to take the world by storm, make sure not to stand in their way. All hail the Hammer of the North.