Swedish heavy rockers GRAND MAGUS released their new album, "The Hunt", in Europe on May 25 via Nuclear Blast Records. The CD's cover artwork was created by Arik Roper (CATHEDRAL, HIGH ON FIRE, SLEEP), who also handled the art on GRAND MAGUS' "Iron Will" LP.
"The Hunt" track listing:
01. Starlight Slaughter
02. Sword Of The Ocean
03. Valhalla Rising
04. Storm King
05. Silver Moon
06. The Hunt
07. Son Of The Last Breath
08. Iron Hand
10. Silver Moon (demo version, bonus track)
11. Storm King (demo version, bonus track)
12. Sword Of The Ocean (demo version, bonus track)
A six-and-a-half-minute YouTube clip containing audio samples of the tracks that appear on "The Hunt" is available below.
GRAND MAGUS frontman Janne "J.B." Christoffersson on the individual tracks that make up the album:
Christoffersson: "We wanted to expand our songwriting on this album, and this song is different from anything we've done before. For lack of a better term, it's more open somehow. After everything had been mixed, it felt like this should be the opening track. It wasn't the obvious decision, since some of the other songs are more in the vein of what we've done in the past, but it felt exciting to kick things off with this one. Who dares wins!"
"Sword Of The Ocean"
Christoffersson: "I've always been interested in and fascinated by what is called 'Kenning' in Norse, which basically means metaphor or replacement words for something. It's the way the Norse poetry managed to bring variation and nuances to the stories. For example, blood could be called 'raven's wine.' A spear could be called 'warrior's tooth,' etc. This is something I've incorporated in the lyrics many times before. What do you think 'Sword Of The Ocean' means?"
Christoffersson: "The Norse belief is that if you die fighting, there is a chance you will chosen by One-eye and carried by Valkyries up to the golden hall of Valhall. Obviously this song has more layers of meaning than this. But in essence, we all have our battles to fight, it's how we choose to do it that defines us."
Christoffersson: "No matter how hard we try, mankind will never be able to reign over the raging elements. We have to deal with the fact that there are powers greater than all of our inventions and machines. But it's possible to embrace the awesome power of the storm.... if you try hard enough."
Christoffersson: "The moon is the key to powerful experiences. It is the lamp of the hunter and the revealer of inner struggle. By the silver moon, the true self is exposed and strengthened. This track, along with 'Sword Of The Ocean' and 'Storm King', were the first songs we wrote for the album."
Christoffersson: "The hunt is the primal state of existence, that is not to say that mankind has exclusive rights to hunt. The strongest, best equipped and with the best endurance is not man and will never be. Also, mankind is prey. And will always be."
"Son Of The Last Breath"
Christoffersson: "It should come as no surprise that this track was a challenge to complete. It's definitely the most ambitious thing we've recorded and it covers a lot of ground musically and lyrically. We were dead set on having something that really pushed the boundaries on this album and it all started with a melody rooted in Scandinavian folk music. The rest is a journey to power!"
Christoffersson: "Sometimes the only thing that can save you is an Iron Hand. Wisdom is the path of power."
Christoffersson: "Certain actions can result in unforeseen and terrible consequences. I think most of us has experienced this. This was the last song that was recorded and also the closing statement about the themes of 'The Hunt'. Search for the truth and you will find the wolf."
Due to family obligations and work commitments, drummer Sebastian "Seb" Sippola has left GRAND MAGUS. The new man behind the kit is Ludwig "Ludde" Witt (SPIRITUAL BEGGARS, FIREBIRD, SHINING).
GRAND MAGUS's last album, "Hammer Of The North", was released digitally in North America in January 2011 via Roadrunner Records. The CD was recorded at 301 studios outside of Stockholm and features artwork by Necrolord.
"The Hunt" lyric video: