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Grand Magus: Sword Songs

Album Review

The Swedish trio capture the sound of a Viking invasion – run to the hills!

Ever since 1970 and Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song – in which the Thor-like Robert Plant exclaimed, ‘Hammer of the gods/Will drive our ships to new land’ – Vikings have been a popular theme in heavy metal. Iron Maiden’s The Number Of The Beast began with Invaders, a tale of marauding Norsemen (‘Pillaging!’ ‘Looting!’ ‘Raping!’ ‘Plundering!’). Swedish guitar hero Yngwie Malmsteen channelled his forefathers in I Am A Viking. Norwegian band TNT had a full-size longboat as a stage prop. And Manowar, posing in furry loincloths, spoke of their career in terms of a bloodthirsty conquest.

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