Grand Magus - Wolf's Return
Rise Above
Heavy (Doom) Metal
11 songs (38'40)
Release year: 2005
Grand Magus, Rise Above
Reviewed by Marty
Wolf's Return marks the third release by the Sewedish doom metal band. Their first two albums (Grand Magus and Monument) were excellent doom/stoner metal albums with a very heavy and bluesy groove. With this new album, Grand Magus is shifting in style towards a more traditional metal approach. Sure the de-tuned and punishing heavy riffs are still ever present but they've also added more melody to with their songs and the result is quite simply the best album they have ever done and the best album of this sort of metal that I've heard this year.

Of the 11 tracks on this album, 4 are short instrumental bridges, which serve as nice bridges between tracks. Kingslayer gets things underway with it's unrelenting metal assault complete with pummelling heavy riffs and hammering double bass drumming. This is more of a pure heavy power metal style than doom metal with vocalist/guitarist J.B. (Spiritual Beggars) delivering some great vocals. Nine sees the return of the pounding heavy and atmospheric doom metal style of previous albums with J.B. delivering a rather baroque Matthias Blad (Falconer) type of vocal. With a chanting chorus that fits well within the viking metal genre, this track also features some solid lead guitar work. The title track, Wolf's Return starts with a great trudging beat and boomy Sabbath like single note riffs. Mixing slower, booming heavy passages with the faster trudging style, they manage to create a great atmosphere and a style that's much more "catchier" than on past material. Blood Oath begins with a speedier Sabbath like riff and more of the very tasteful and melodic lead guitar that graces many tracks on this album. Repay In Kind sees Grand Magus mixing excellent mid tempo booming guitar riffs, solid melodic vocals and more of the lead guitar harmonies to create one of the catchiest songs that they've ever done. Light Hater features booming yet very busy riffs and a desperate and emotional vocal by J.B.

Although the riffs still bear the resemblance, there's not quite as much Black Sabbath worship with Wolf's Return. Grand Magus is showing us a more traditional metal side to their character with material that's still doom metal but is much more up tempo and energetic. Lots of American bands are trying this style of metal but none have the quality lead guitar playing that Grand Magus has and are opting for either the harsh death metal vocals or the screaming metalcore style. The emotional "clean" vocal style of J.B. suits the music very well and for those who still like some melody in their doom metal, this is the stuff right here. Picture a younger Chris Cornell fronting a band that plays Sabbath-influenced heavy doom metal and you pretty much have it in a nutshell. The Swedish doom masters have outdone themselves this time and for doom metal fans, this is mandatory!!! For fans of more traditional metal that like the slower Black Sabbath Master Of Reality style and are interested in checking out some doom metal, this new Grand Magus album would be a great introduction to the genre. In their relatively short existence, they are starting to climb the ladder to the top of the genre, a position once occupied by such veterans as Candlemass, Cathedral and Trouble.

Killing Songs :
Kingslayer, Wolf's Return, Blood Oath, Repay In Kind and Light Hater
Marty quoted 88 / 100
Dee quoted 79 / 100
Other albums by Grand Magus that we have reviewed:
Grand Magus - Wolf God reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Grand Magus - Sword Songs reviewed by Goat and quoted 65 / 100
Grand Magus - Triumph and Power reviewed by Goat and quoted 75 / 100
Grand Magus - The Hunt reviewed by Thomas and quoted 50 / 100
Grand Magus - Hammer of the North reviewed by Thomas and quoted 89 / 100
To see all 9 reviews click here
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