Swedish riff-lords Grand Magus return with their fourth full length album, after their last album Wolf’s Return from 2005. I followed this band from their first debut album on, but I still like their debut album the most.
This album goes on, where Wolf’s Return stopped. They definitely lost their Stoner-rock influences for good. From the second full length Monument on, their sound shifted more and more towards the traditional metal and the NWOBHM sound. This album is filled with heavy, doomy metal songs, which sometimes go a bit over the top. Especially when their singer JB forces his voice in the higher regions, I’m not always that fond of it… It sometimes raises your neck hair!
Lyrically they sing again about pre-Christian tales of triumph, vengeance, swords, warriors, romance and death! The first song starts off with church bells and a mandolin-led opening, to burst open with a heavy bass filled doomy metal riff. Second song ‘Fear Is The Key’ starts off as a fast metal song and slowly becomes a heavy metal sing-along headbanger, with in the middle an absolute killer doom riff! They still know how to write bulldozer doom-riffs. Give me more of that! Third song ‘Hövding’ is an atmospheric bass-solo, which actually functions as a lead-in for the title song ‘Iron Will’. That song bursts out of your speakers after the lead-in of the third song. This song is the best song of the album. A neck breaking doomy metal song, which will raise your fist and keep banging your head for the rest of the day. Fifth song starts off with JB singing with a high pitched metal voice screaming his lungs out… Arghh!! When I want to hear crappy Halloween/Manowar metal stuff, I will play those records. Stick to what you know best… This song is probably the song that I liked the least, but it still has a great heavy riff. The sixth song ‘The Shadow Knows’ carries on with the high pitched singing and Manowar metal. After that we finally get what we want… A heavy as fuck doom metal song! Goosebumps allover… Raise your fist and bang your head to this song. Hell yeah!
I’m on two feet with this album. Some songs are for my personal taste a bit too much over the top, but on the other hand this band knows how to write some great heavy, doomy metal songs. The last 2 songs carry on with the more heavy doom metal songs. So I like the last part of this CD the best. Doom fans as well as people who like traditional stuff like Manowar, should give this band a chance…