Sweden’s Grand Delusion have been in existence for six years now, and deliver a straightforward, highly melodic take on traditional metal that offers no surprises but an awful lot of enjoyment.
Opener Just Revolution – released earlier this year as a single – is a perky opening statement of intent, offering whiffs of compatriots Grand Magus but managing to maintain enough originality to keep things interesting. Björn Wahlberg, the guitar playing singer, isn’t the best of vocalists, but makes the most of what the maker has given him, only really coming to grief on closing track Ghost of the Widow McCain, but on tracks like standout cut Imperator the slightly strained nature of his vocalising gives the song a tantalisingly authentic NWoBHM feel to add to some highly appealing riffage.
It’s not all loincloths n’ broadswords however. The afore-mentioned Ghost of Widow McCain has a proggy air to it, sounding like an entertaining soundclash involving Uriah Heep and Wishbone Ash (with some suitably epic soloing to match those comparisons coming at the end of the track), whilst the album’s centrepiece, the twelve-minute-long Trail of the Seven Scorpions is an extremely ambitious trek from weighty Maidenesque prog through swords-in-the-air doom (with heavy tinges of US genre masters Argus) to Ozzy-era Sabbath heft and back again over the course of it’s winding, serpentine duration. It’s incredibly mature stuff, eminently listenable from start to finish and sure to ensnare any self-respecting metal fan with it’s charms if given the opportunity.
Whilst the styles being employed here are all undeniably retro, there’s a freshness of approach offered by Grand Delusion that means, though you’ll have heard almost all of this before in one guise or another, there’s never a moment over the course of the album where you’ll find the attention wandering or the appeal of the music palling. If you like well-played, beautifully crafted metal from any of the closing decades of the twentieth century then I strongly recommend you get involved with Supreme Machine. And hats off for the Kansas-referencing recording facility too guys!
Supreme Machine Will be Released on July 14th