Grand Magnus and Planet Of Zeus at the Underworld, London - live review

Swedes of steel stir up a Sunday crowd

Art for Grand Magnus and Planet Of Zeus live at the Underworld, London

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PLANET OF ZEUS [7] don’t belong to the Viking fraternity but their zeal mirrors that of the Nordic headliners, and from the madness ensuing on the sticky floor of the Underworld the punters are well up for a party-style set from the Greek blues-driven ensemble. Every rumbling hook and flame-licked riff is fired out like sonic shrapnel, capturing the wild spirit of Airbourne with the seismic rumble of stoner and blues led by the charismatic and occasionally spasmodic Babis Papanikolaou. Fair play to GRAND MAGUS [8] and their honed-to-the-bone set; they’re leading the Viking pack without relying on props or costumes. “Well, London, if you’re like this on a Sunday what are you like the rest of the time?” asks JB in his baritone Swedish lilt. It’s the last date on their tour but there’s no sign of fatigue. Storming in with I, The Jury, the crowd joins in to proclaim ‘Because I’m the law’ to the horsedrawn rattle of riffs. Soon comes Steel Versus Steel, adding to the tally of ‘steel’s in their lyrics, not to mention iron, and a bit of gold, but it’s this clichéd simplicity that makes Grand Magus so likeable. The fist-thrusting Painkiller-esque steer of Freja’s Choice is a new fave but Kingslayer is the perennial people’s choice as JB reminds us that it came out a whopping 12 years ago. Time flies when you’re raising horns.

Holly Wright

With over 10 years’ experience writing for Metal Hammer and Prog, Holly has reviewed and interviewed a wealth of progressively-inclined noise mongers from around the world. A fearless voyager to the far sides of metal Holly loves nothing more than to check out London’s gig scene, from power to folk and a lot in between. When she’s not rocking out Holly enjoys being a mum to her daughter Violet and working as a high-flying marketer in the Big Smoke.