With helmets polished and swords a swinging, the boys are back in town!
Review by Jason Guest
Grand Magus are metal made flesh. On stage – by which I mean every time they are on stage – it is a lesson in metal as much as in live performance. With ‘Anvil Of Crom’ (from the Conan The Barbarian score) to tell us that the band are about to enter the stage, applause accompanied by chants of ‘Magus! Magus!’ fill the room. JB warmly acknowledges the crowd and ‘I’ The Jury’ opens the set. From start to finish, the band is tight and focussed, a powerhouse of metal forged in steel. And with such a charged performance, there’s little need for JB to rally the crowd.
‘Varangian’, ‘Forged in Iron, Crowned in Steel, and ‘Freja’s Choice’ from Sword Songs (reviewed here) – another great album in a line of great albums – go down well and sit strong alongside the older material. Remaining true to their metal roots, they have long been carving out triumphant hymns to heaviness one after another and Sword Songs is testament to their devotion. Yes, this is a band that rather than evolve, just gets stronger. Whether cranking the tempo or just going at it at a steady pace, the power remains as strong as ever, the songs bearing a driving might that is, frankly, unstoppable. And in the spirit of the heroes and the Gods that they hail, they battle on and win the crowd over time and again with song after incredible song.
With a set list packed with many a ball-swelling anthem, Magus can do little wrong. While ‘Iron Will’, ‘Triumph and Power’ and ‘Kingslayer’ slay, ‘Hammer of the North’ remains the classic, crowd and band united in fist-pumping, leather-cladding, battle-hearted, codpiece-sweating, rabble-rousing metal with a capital METAL! As potent as the mightiest mead in all Valhalla, this evening was another triumph for the band. Like Thor, Grand Magus are mighty. And with our helmets polished and our choppers swinging, we leave the Slade Rooms, galloping into the night ready for battle!