No apology offered. No quarter spared. This album is fuckin’ monstrous. I didn’t think GRAND MAGUS could nail an album better than 2005’s “ Wolf’s Return” They’ve not only topped it but managed to set a new benchmark in towering behemoth size Metal.
This is a wall of sound not heard in Metal for decades. You’ve heard it oft repeated: all the pieces fitting together, the stars aligning, prophet’s warnings all that stuff. This is the real deal in Heavy Metal music.
The riffs are colossal, magnificent, and resplendent in the very fabric of Heavy Metal lore. Catching the zeitgeist from SABBATH GRAND MAGUS has no other rival in terms of sheer Heavy Metal bravado. Shit, check out the track titles. This is man’s music. “Like The Oar Strikes The Water” “Iron Will” “Silver Into Steel” reads like a boys on adventure novel with these crazy Swedish bastards all to keen to take you on their very therapeutic Metal journey.
And in JB they have the best singer in Metal. Converging on a sound that picks from the wail of a young Coverdale, the power of Dickinson and Halford and the class of Dio there can be little doubt that when he opens up that earthy, hearty roar you will only be impressed.
Previous albums relied on GRAND MAGUS’S take on Stoner/ Bluesy Rock and Metal. “Iron Will” doesn’t. This album relies on nothing more than the simple premise of hammer hitting Metal. The title track boosts a Iommi-esque riff with JB’s voice soaring during the chorus. The opener “Like The Oar Strikes The Water” just kills, “Silver Into Steel” sounds like when MANOWAR played Metal instead of the piss the peddle nowadays. And only if JUDAS PRIEST could sound so invigorating like GRAND MAGUS do on “The Shadow Knows” then they wouldn’t pass “Nostradamus” off for the middle age, middle of the road Metal that it is.
This is truly death to false Metal stuff.
(Online August 7, 2008)