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Grand Magus
Grand Magus
Den ursprungliga lineup circa 2005!
Du skall dödas!
Background information
Also known as Smack (1996 - 1999)
Origin Stockholm, Sweden
Genres Doom Metal (early), Blues Rock (early), Traditional Heavy Metal
Years active 1999 - Present
Labels Southern Lord Records, Candlelight USA, Rise Above Records, Roadrunner Records, Nuclear Blast
Associated acts Smack, Backdraft, Bajen Death Cult, Spiritual Beggars, Firebird, Shining, Abramis Brama, Candlemass, Krux
Website Official Website

Grand Magus are a heavy metal band from Stockholm, Sweden. Initially forming in 1999, the band had developed a sound in a similar vein to doom metal and blues rock with influences ranging from Bathory to Black Sabbath to Iron Maiden and so on. Despite this the band is commonly associated with the doom metal scene due to their work with Rise Above Records for nearly a decade. Their current sound more closely follows a traditional heavy metal sound starting with the acclaimed Wolf's Return in 2005. Grand Magus are known for their hooky yet gritty style of metal and JB's melodic vocals, their lyrics are based heavily in paganism, anti-christianity and mythology with a general ethos of strength, power and death.

Grand Magus have toured Europe extensively throughout the years with eight studio albums under their belt.

HistoryEdit

Beginnings: Grand Magus and Monument (1999 - 2004)Edit

Grand Magus' history starts in Stockholm, Sweden circa 1996, when guitarist/singer Janne, bassist Fox and drummer Iggy formed a heavy rock band called Smack. Smack gigged extensively in Stockholm and gained some local recognition. In 1999 Iggy left to pursue other things in life, and Janne and Fox decided to find a new drummer to match a heavier approach to the music.

With Trisse in the fold, Smack recorded the three-song eponymous demotape in the spring of 1999. The demo contained the songs "Summer Solstice", "Coat of Arms" and "A Game of Tarot". After a couple of gigs (in Åland and Stockholm) in front of a very enthusiastic audience, Smack sent their demo to various record labels and fanzines. A few contacts were made with respected labels, but nothing really panned out. The band started feeling the name Smack didn’t really suit the musical and lyrical content of the songs, and decided to change it into something more powerful and magic that could fit well with their heavy-blues musical approach. The occasion came in the fall of 1999, when a record label asked for more songs to listen to, and a new demo was swiftly recorded.

In that moment it was clear that Smack was something belonging to the past and thus the band changed their name to Grand Magus. The new demo-CD, Demo Two Thousand, features three brand new compositions, "Stonecircle", "Twilight Train" and "Glow", which testify Grand Magus' ability in writing heavy-blues music with a strong melodic component that reminds of ´70s ´monsters´ like Black Sabbath, Mountain, Deep Purple, Lynyrd Skynyrd... The demo got great reviews from various e-zines and tremendous response from all kinds of people and rock listeners, with the band playing sporadic local gigs, earliest known being 5 August 2000 at STÅLVÄRK festival in Hagfors Sweden.[1][2] Grand Magus would release a split 7" with Spiritual Beggars in September 2000 via Southern Lord Records and begin work on their debut album.

On 14 February 2001 the band would sign a worldwide deal with Rise Above Records. Recording in March and releasing on 5 November 2001, the eponymous debut of Grand Magus was released on CD through Rise Above and later The Music Cartel in the United States to positive reviews along with becoming "Album of the Month" that month in Metal Hammer Germany. Supporting the record the trio would embark on their first tour of Europe alongside Roadsaw and Orange Goblin. By the fall of 2002 the band had mostly completed work on their second studio album. With sporadic shows and JB touring with Spiritual Beggars through 2003 the band would eventually finish and release their second studio album Monument on 20 October 2003 to heavy praise.[3] The band would make appearances at Sweden Rock Festival and Roadburn Festival along with touring with Orange Goblin and Witchcraft in the summer of 2004.

Changes and Acclaim: Wolf's Return and Iron Will (2005 - 2009)Edit

In early 2005 Grand Magus would begin work on their third album.[4] Shifting towards more of a heavy metal style but maintaining a lot of lyrical themes and melodic vocals, Wolf's Return was released on 14 June 2005 to even higher critical praise. The band's first music video was also unleashed for the song "Kingslayer".

After a tour of Europe in February 2006 in support of this new album Trisse would depart from the group on 23 March 2006, joining Abramis Brama. The band would fine a replacement in Sebastian Sippola aka "Seb", his earliest known performance with the band being on the Sweden Rock cruise on 6 October. With a mini-tour of Scandinavia in 2007 the band concentrated on writing new material for their fourth studio album. Iron Will saw release on 9 June 2008 via Rise Above in their final release with the label, following with tours throughout Europe and festival appearances in support. Iron Will was also named "album of the year" in Sweden Rock Magazine and through the Manifest award.

Label Changes: Hammer of The North and The Hunt (2010 - 2013)Edit

On 4 December 2009 Grand Magus would sign with mainstream label Roadrunner Records for a worldwide deal along with announcing their forthcoming fifth album Hammer of the North in the works, ultimately seeing release on 18 June 2010 with music videos for the title track and "At Midnight They'll Get Wise". The band followed suit with a host of festival appearances throughout Europe that year including With Full Force, Masters of Rock and Headbangers Open Air among two short winter tours of Europe. A planned European tour with Grave Digger was canceled due to Seb suffering from illness by way of blood clots.[5] The band would recover for a short tour with Accept and a host of festival appearances. Grand Magus would begin 2012 with a headlining European tour and a short mini-tour supporting Amon Amarth, the final tour with drummer Seb involved.

In the meantime the band had begun work on their sixth studio album and during the sessions Seb had chosen to depart from the group to concentrate on family and playing drums as a leisure. Leaving on friendly terms the group would enlist new drummer Ludwig Witt (Spiritual Beggars, Firebird, Shining) to the fold, officially revealed as such on 4 April 2012.[6] Recording new drum tracks and newly signed to Nuclear Blast Records, The Hunt was released on 25 May 2012 to positive reviews. The band followed with a host of festival appearances and the band's first ever appearance in North America at Noctis V Metalfest in Calgary, Alberta, Canada on 27 September.

Grand Magus followed with a full European tour to further support The Hunt under the title Hunting Across Europe. The band would keep focus on the traditional heavy metal sound as they began composing songs for their next album.

Traditional Heavy Metal: Triumph and Power and Sword Songs (2014 - Present)Edit

On 17 November 2013 Grand Magus would announce their seventh studio album Triumph and Power, the band's third studio album with producer Nico Elgstrand at that time and seeing release on 31 January 2014 via Nuclear Blast (4 February for USA release) to positive reviews.[7] Grand Magus would headline the Rock Revelation tour along with two more tours that year in one of their busiest and most conquering years as a live act. A quick follow-up came in the form of Sword Songs on 13 May 2016, followed by one of their most extensive tours sharing the stage with Viking Metal band Amon Amarth.

Grand Magus King Slayer04:15

Grand Magus King Slayer

Grand Magus - At Midnight They'll Get Wise03:47

Grand Magus - At Midnight They'll Get Wise

Grand Magus - Hammer Of The North OFFICIAL VIDEO04:35

Grand Magus - Hammer Of The North OFFICIAL VIDEO

GRAND MAGUS - Steel Versus Steel (OFFICIAL VIDEO)05:46

GRAND MAGUS - Steel Versus Steel (OFFICIAL VIDEO)

GRAND MAGUS - Freja's Choice (OFFICIAL VIDEO)04:07

GRAND MAGUS - Freja's Choice (OFFICIAL VIDEO)

DiscographyEdit

Studio AlbumsEdit

Misc. ReleasesEdit

MembersEdit

Current LineupEdit

  • Janne Christofferson AKA JB - Guitar, Vocals (1996 - 1999 with Smack; 1999 - Present)
  • Mats Heden AKA Fox or Fox Skinner - Bass, Backing Vocals (1996 - 1999 with Smack; 1999 - Present)
  • Ludwig Witt AKA Ludde - Drums (2012 - Present)

Past MembersEdit

  • Iggy - Drums (1996 - 1999; With Smack)
  • Fredrik Liefvendahl AKA Trisse - Drums (1999 - 2006)
  • Sebastian Sippola AKA Seb - Drums (2006 - 2012)
  • Per Wiberg - Live Bass, Backing Vocals (2016)

ToursEdit

  • Grand Magus / Orange Goblin Tour 2002 (With Orange Goblin, Roadsaw) (2002)[8]
  • 2003 Mini-Tour (With Abramis Brama) (2003)[9]
  • 2004 Summer Tour (With Orange Goblin, Witchcraft) (2004)[10]
  • 2006 Winter European Tour (With Cathedral, Electric Wizard) (2006)
  • 2007 Mini-Tour (With Firewind) (2007)[11]
  • September 2008 Mini-Tour (With At The Gates, Tyrant) (2008)
  • Iron Will Tour (With Serpentcult; Partially canceled) (2008)
  • 2009 Finland Mini-Tour (2009)
  • United Kingdom Of Heavy Metal Tour 2010 (With Arch Enemy, Chthonic, Malefice) (2010)
  • The World Is Yours European Tour (With Motörhead, Doro) (2010)
  • February 2011 Scandinavian Mini-Tour (With Accept) (2011)[12]
  • Grave Digger 2011 Tour (With Grave Digger, Sister Sin; Grand Magus dropped off) (2011)
  • Blood of the Nations Tour 2011 (Three dates supporting Accept) (2011)
  • Grand Magus European Tour 2012 (With Bullet, Skull Fist, Steelwing, Vanderbuyst) (2012)
  • Surtur Rising Tour (Supporting Among Amarth) (2012)
  • Hunting Across Europe (With Angel Witch, Enforcer; Primitai on second leg)(2013)
  • Rock Revelation tour 2014 (With Audrey Horne, Zodiac, The Vintage Caravan) (2014)[13]
  • May 2014 Mini-Tour (With Olvido) (2014)
  • December 2014 Mini-Tour (With Behemoth, Decapitated, Winterfylleth) (2014)
  • Enslaved/Grand Magus 2015 Tour (With Enslaved) (2015)
  • Jomsviking European Tour 2016 (With Amon Amarth, Testament) (2016)
  • Frost and Fire Tour (With Planet of Zeus) (2017)
  • November 2017 European Tour (With Elm Street, Evil Invaders) (2017)

External LinksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Grand Magus via Wayback Machine
  2. Grand Magus via Wayback MachineAccessed 17 September 2017
  3. Grand Magus via Wayback MachineAccessed 17 September 2017
  4. Grand Magus via Wayback Machine
  5. Grand Magus via Wayback Machine
  6. Grand Magus via Wayback Machine
  7. Nuclear Blast via Wayback MachineAccessed 19 September 2017
  8. Rise Above Records via Wayback Machine
  9. Abramis Brama via Wayback Machine
  10. Rise Above Records via Wayback Machine
  11. Grand Magus via Wayback Machine
  12. Wayback Machine
  13. Rtn Touring via Wayback Machine

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