The Swedish riff masters GRAND MAGUS are back! Their new album Sword Songs is out shortly and STM spoke to their frontman & guitarist Janne ”JB” Christoffersson about it and the very real possibility of a tour.
Originally brought into life in 1996 under the name SMACK, this band’s name was sufficiently early changed into the moniker that has been eternalized in the history books of heavy metal over the course of the last 20 years: GRAND MAGUS! Finest riffs and an entire arsenal of heavy metal anthems are to be found within the band’s history. Following two demos, a split EP with their countrymen SPIRITUAL BEGGARS was released in 2001 as well as their debut album »Grand Magus«, that is still being worshiped as a cult album by doom and heavy metal fans today. GRAND MAGUS then easily climbed a few steps higher on the evolutionary ladder with the two following albums, »Monument« (2003) and »Wolf’s Return« (2005), both progressively including more heavy metal influences, but without disregarding their heavily grooving stoner roots. Furthermore, the band played an extensive European tour with grandmasters ELECTRIC WIZARD and CATHEDRAL in this era, underlining that GRAND MAGUS are an unbelievable might on stage as well. In 2007, they ultimately built their throne out of epic doom, heavy metal and their addiction to the extreme. Their 2008 album Iron Will conquered first place in Metal Hammer Germany‘s soundcheck and drew in enthusiastic feedback from international rock and metal press – and, even more important: from the fans! »Hammer Of The North« (2010) brought the band’s first attack on German album charts and led to a support slot on the joint tour of legendary acts MOTÖRHEAD and DORO. In 2012, GRAND MAGUS once more excelled themselves. Their first album for Nuclear Blast and also the first album with new drummer Ludwig Witt, »The Hunt«, made clear again that the band’s potential for development is by far not exhausted yet – and still GRAND MAGUS don’t even come close to being in need of reinventing themselves. The album’s successor, »Triumph And Power« (2014), continued the trio’s inexorable victory march and ultimately substantiated their status as gods of riffs, playing in the same heavy league as legends such as JUDAS PRIEST and DIO!
In 2016, the Swedish riff legends rise again to show their teeth… and swords! »Sword Songs«, the title of their eighth album, summarizes the band’s intention: head of the band, JB, says the album would be faster and more aggressive than Triumph And Power, and he adds that the album contains some ferocious songs. GRAND MAGUS put all their passion, all their blood, sweat and tears into Sword Songs, and the result is nothing less than the best and heaviest GRAND MAGUS album of all time. Produced by Nico Elgstrand in Studio Supa, Stockholm, »Sword Songs« offers a load of future classics that will move fans to tears with their powerful grooving rhythm machine, mighty riff walls and JB‘s distinctive voice. Guitars, vocals and bass were recorded in Studio Supa, while the drums were done together with Roberto Laghi at Top Floor Studios, Gothenburg. Roberto Laghi also was in charge of mixing the album, the mastering was done by Svante Forsbäck (Chartmakers, Helsinki).
The impressive cover artwork that skillfully captures the mighty aura of Sword Songs was provided by renowned artist Anthony Roberts.