GRAND MAGUS is one of these bands which simply can’t do wrong. They are cursed of writing catchy, true Heavy Metal hymns. Even their average moments which I consider to be the “Iron Will” and “Hammer of the North” albums are full of great songs.
In “The Hunt” the 6th album of GRAND MAGUS, the band is drastically moving away from the spirit of its early releases. The Stoner elements are practically nonexistent while the Doom foundations remain very very well hidden.
There is some 70’s vibe in the record which brings DIO-era BLACK SABBATH to mind but the strongest flavor in the album is 80’s true Metal. You will immediately see some JUDAS PRIEST, ACCEPT and why not early MANOWAR. In some compositions the epic character is so strong that along with JB’s voice something may remind you of DOOMSWORD’s latest effort.
Now focusing to the material itself I would say that the first impression I have is that it is better than “Hammer of the North” which, once more, in my opinion was nothing more than mediocre moment for the band. Songwriting is still not original and I guess that some people of the progressive circles may even find it predictable and uninspired.
For the material of “The Hunt”, the production is very successful. Although, this kind of production is more common for Hard Rock of the past, I would say it works surprisingly great here. Of course it’s totally flat and much deprived of any real heaviness which is my only real objection to this album. Being a Doom fan it only brings me pity to see that a band of such magnitude decided to move away from its Doom roots.
“The Hunt” may be one of the band’s best records yet it is strictly referring to the Heavy Metal audience. So if you are a die-hard Doom fan searching for something in the vein of “Monument” or “Wolf’s Return” you may have to pass on this one. The more open minded Metal fans out there will find it great.