8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Doom with an old-school metal vein, 6 Oct 2006
First of all, let me stress that I am not a big fan of Doom or Stoner Rock. Ok, so I own a a few Kyuss albums, and I've listened to the odd Doom band or two, but they're never appealed to me much. So, why I hear you wonder, would I be attracted to a band like Grand Magus? Well first of all, this album is not a complete depature from their previous work. Yes, the album does have a fair number of plodding Doom riffs that will keep even the most die-hard fans happy, but those expecting a doom filled offering like their last album 'Monument' are going to be sorely disappointed.
However, rather than bringing the album down, in my opinion it improves it dramatically. Firstly let me stress that the vocals on this album are without doubt the best Metal vocals I have heared in a long time, resounding with raw, dark emotion that just make you want to stand up and yell battle-cries. Tie this in with huge epic riffs of the guitar which lumber menacingly through each song, while the odd melody (without venturing into the hallmark cheesiness of some heavy/power metal bands) skirts intricately around trying to avoid being crushed by gargantuan riffs. The drumming doesn't let up at all throughout, and sets the pace perfectly. The Bass Guitar is very prominent, without becoming muddy or overbearing. It further heightens the atmosphere with a rich sinister tone where the doom influences can be clearly seen.
'Wolf's Return' just shouts out 'Metal!', its use of Heavy Metal style riffs with a Central Doom theme, and deep, powerful vocals create a intensely dark, and at times foreboding atmosphere.
Standout tracks include: The opener 'Kingslayer', 'Blood-Oath' and the title track. But every song on this album is a gem, and it needs to be listened to in it's entirety to be fully apreciated. Quite simply, no Metal fan can be without this excellent album.