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Thursday, 28 February 2013

The View From The Back Of The Room: Grand Magus

Grand Magus & Primitai, Bogiez Cardiff

Sweden's premier trad metal trio Grand Magus again return to Cardiff to bring the noise to Bogiez. They brought with them speed/thrashers Primitai and instrumental stoners Thorun. I missed Thorun however I arrived just in time for Primitai's first song.

Primitai

I last saw classic/speed metallers Primitai supporting Triaxis and I was blown away, however this time I was left feeling a little bit deflated. Primitai are still a great live act with some furious guitars, and the tough gruff vocals of frontman Guy. However this time he was struggling through a cold so despite his stalking of the crowd he couldn't really hit the notes on this night. The set list was a bit of a strange one with tracks coming from In The Line Of Fire and Through The Gates Of Hell but the band started the set with a new song which was strange because the new album is nowhere near finished so playing a song that no-one knows first was a little bit odd (it would have been better placed in the middle of the set with other new song Scream When You See Us) both of the songs were good but they stopped some of the bands momentum. This was still a strong showing from Primitai and they probably felt they could move away from their go to set list after playing the same venue only a few months ago. Still a good set from a band that were trying to show off their progress as musicians. 7/10

Grand Magus

So the Swedish metal machine returned to destroy Bogiez. They drew an impressive crowd and the crowd were rewarded with a set full of heavy metal heaven. Unlike a lot of their most recent sets they drew songs from four of their albums with both Kingslayer and the doomy Wolf's Return both given an airing, the majority came from newest album The Hunt with Sword Of The Ocean and the propulsive Valhalla Rising being the best live cuts. The newly grizzled J.B was booming in his vocals and full of technical ferocity in his guitar playing. Bassist Fox was also great providing the rhythms and shouts with new drummer Ludwig Witt given time to show off with a thankfully short drum solo. This was a great set for me as it featured some of my favourite tracks from Iron Will with Silver Into Steel, Like The Oar That Strikes The Water and the title track that finished the main set with serious power. The Magus set was full of their strong, powerful, classic metal sound and it got the crowd shouting along to every track with the final encore of Hammer Of The North giving everyone a chance to 'woah' at the top of their Welsh voices and made everyone elated. Grand Magus are one of the most consistently brilliant bands on the live circuit, you could watch them every week and never get bored, prime top quality metal from the Swedes. 9/10

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