Recording information: Studio Wahnsinn, Stockholm; The Sweetspot Studio, Halmstad.
Introduction by: Nico Elgstrand.
Photographer: Katarina Carlsson.
Grand Magus was so far ahead of the heavy metal revival curve that its initial releases were categorized as doom or stoner rock, and by the time the old iron lady actually took off, midway through the 2000s, the group's fourth and fifth albums were getting lost amidst all of the competing noise. It didn't help matters that both LPs suffered from oftentimes less inspired songwriting than their predecessors, but order has been restored to a large degree on Grand Magus' sixth effort, 2012's The Hunt, and no radical changes had to be made, nor wayward keyboard players put to death in order to pull this off. Instead, the Swedish power trio has simply rededicated itself to crafting tunes that wield marauding riffs and infectious choruses with the devastating power of a double-handed battle axe; something which is entirely sensible given their debt to Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, for whom Grand Magus embody something of a modern incarnation. Telltale thundering hooves to the forehead such as "Sword of the Ocean," "Storm King," and the title track hark back to the Dio-period "castle metal," only on third millennium steroids and with Norse mythology as the focus; while the somewhat more accessible, Graham Bonnett and Joe Lynn Turner eras are reflected in "Silver Moon," "Iron Hand," and especially "Starlight Slaughter," which bears echoes of Difficult to Cure's "Freedom Fighter." Grand Magus do take the whole Viking heritage thing a little too far at times ("Valhalla Rising," "Draks?dd," etc.), particularly during the over the top baritone-sung lyrics introducing "Son of the Last Breath," but that same song's second half is so irresistibly anthemic and heavy throughout The Hunt that it's hard to stay angry for long with Odin, Thor, and co. Instead, one feels compelled to celebrate this robust return to form by one of Sweden's most reliable metallic warriors -- long may they ride, long may they hunt. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia
Kerrang (Magazine) (p.53) - "While THE HUNT still pays homage at the twin altars of Judas Priest and Dio, this time they've delved even further back in time....Their desire to constantly evolve should be applauded."