Grand Magus are a band that in my opinion are hard to dislike simply due to the fact that they tick all the right boxes. Do they hail from a country well known for metal? Check (In their case, Sweden). Wicked riffs and shredding solos? Check. Pounding Bass lines? Check. Great drumming? Check. Powerful and soaring vocals? Check. Luxurious beards? Check.
Especially when the high calibre of their last 3 albums is taken into consideration, it seems that JB, Fox and Ludwig can do no wrong. And after seeing them tear the Underworld a new arsehole last night I must say I stand by that statement 100%.
Arriving at the venue I could tell this was due to be a big night for the band, this being the final date on the tour and people from all over London and the South-East pouring into the underworld to see Grand Magus bring the house down. I've been wanting to see this band again from the moment I saw them at Bloodstock 2012. And tonight I get my wish. But first, the support bands...
Diesel King (6) are an upcoming sludge band from London and have been chosen as the opening act for the night. The band seem to play well as a unit, and while undeniably heavy and crushing, two very good traits for a sludge band, the music gets old fairly quickly as each song consists of only 2, perhaps 3 riffs at the most, becoming repetitive fast. Regardless of those points, they're enjoyable enough.
|Me with Guy from Primitai \m/|
|Me with "Streetcat Bob"|
Soon after, it was time for the evening's main event. As 3 hairy swedes wearing lots of denim and spikes took to the stage, we all knew exactly what was going to happen. After touring almost non stop through the UK and Europe for the last few months you would think the JB and the guys would have lost some of their steam, but I can safely say the following to anyone that might think that - Fuck off have they!!!
Particular crowd favourites seem to be newer hits "Sword Of The Ocean" and "Starlight Slaughter" along with old classics "I, The Jury", "Silver Into Steel", bass driven monster "Ravens Guide Our Way" and of course the band's signature hit "Hammer Of The North". That track in particular always gets an insane reaction from the crowd, and to get the reaction it did on this, the band's first headlining show at the Underworld, clearly made them very happy.
Grand Magus Setlist:
2. Sword Of The Ocean
3. I, The Jury
4. Ravens Guide Our Way
5. Silver Into Steel
6. Starlight Slaughter
7. Wolf's Return
8. Like The Oar Strikes The Water
9. The Hunt
10. Valhalla Rising
11. Iron Will
12. Hammer Of The North
The Hunt is out now on Nuclear Blast Records