|Review: Grand Magus - The Hunt|
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2012
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal
Review online: October 12, 2012
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Grand Magus is a band I've only heard a few songs by but a band I've heard a lot about over the years. The mix of praise and disappointment in their reviews was baggage that presented a challenge to keeping an open mind as I listened to 2012's The Hunt. Turns out I like the album even though it wasn't what I was expecting.
The Hunt has plenty of driving riffs and big choruses but the sound has as much in common with Power Metal than it does with the Traditional Metal I thought I was in for. The guitar tone is good but many of the rough edges have been smoothed over, rendering it more melodic than rib cage-shaking. The vocals are gruff but not in your face. None of this stopped me from breaking out the air guitar on up-tempo tracks like "Starlight Slaughter" and "Iron Hand." Nor did it stop my wife from walking through the room singing "stooooorm kiiiing!!" whenever that song came on, a testament to some catchy songwriting.
So here's my take on The Hunt, an album likely to get some widely disparate reviews. It is an album that shows Grand Magus moving away from Tradition Metal, like Atlantean Kodex and Manilla Road, toward melodic Power Metal, in the vein of Burning Point and Brainstorm. Since I like the last two bands (I like them ALL, truth be told), I like The Hunt. I can see the other side, as well, and recognize that fans of Grand Magus' earlier works may not appreciate their new direction.
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