Grand Magus – Triumph and Power

Well, hello there! Long time, no see! I know; I have been neglecting my writing duties here for the last six months or so. Last year was a tough year. Trying to write regular reviews as well complete the 365 Days of Metal video project proved to be more than this one man could handle alone. Not wanting to quit in the middle of the video project, I abandoned the written reviews with the intention of picking up again at the beginning of 2014.

I took January to recover from burn-out, and to start work on redesigning the site with a new look and some new content categories. The new site isn’t ready yet, and rather than put out something that does not yet meet my vision, I have decided to start writing again, while continuing to work on the new site in the background.

So without further ado, let’s shake the dust off and get started…

Grand Magus has just released their seventh album, “Triumph and Power.” I have been a Grand Magus fan since somewhere in the mid-to-late 2000s. But, for some reason, when they released their sixth album, “The Hunt” in 2012, I got a bug up my ass and came down on it pretty hard. I must have had my cranky pants on that day, because when I came back to the album several months later, I thought it was quite good. (I retracted my previous review in one of the daily 365 videos.)

Keeping that delusional aberration in mind, I was both eager to hear “Triumph and Power” and conscious of my desire to make sure I give the lads a fair shake this time around. And, you know, generally not make an ass of myself.

I think that second part will be easy to avoid. Several months before the promo was even released I heard the title track from the album and was instantly smitten with the heavy-yet-insanely-catchy sound.

I have a hard time trying to categorize Grand Magus’ music (a task that I dislike in general for all music.) They tend to be lumped in with Doom Metal, and their deep/heavy-sounding music and clean vocals does lend itself toward that style. Yet there is also brightness and commercial catchiness that makes me think the Doom label is a little too convenient. I like to think of Grand Magus’s sound as the natural result of mating Clutch with Monster Magnet. I’ve also likened it to Deep Purple mixed with Falconer.

I only just received the promo a few days ago, so I’ve only gotten through the album a few times. My first impression, though, is that this is a well-produced and fun album. I love the chunky low-end, and the deep clean vocals provide a constant feeling of inspiration. These songs tend to make me want to puff up my chest and head off to achieve greatness. I also noticed that left to its own devices my head starts to unconsciously rock back and forth in rhythm to the songs. The reflex head-bob is always a good sign.

So what is my final verdict? The power of this album is certainly a triumph. Yes, that was an intentionally cheesy play on the album’s title. Yet I also feel it is an accurate assessment. There is no denying the power in these songs, and what better term for success than triumph?

Make sure to give this album a listen. Here is the lyric video for the album’s title track. Give it a listen and see what you think.