Hey Marvel: if Buckcherry and Soungarden were good enough for the Avengers soundtrack, why on earth did you slight Grand Magus? Something tells me that Thor would prefer the Stockholm trio’s hard-rock reinterpretations of Norse Mythology to another bone-dumb Papa Roach song about scars or last resorts, or something. Case in point? “Valhalla Rising,” a track that proves why the heavy metal model is still effective: take a catchy melody, cloak it in sludgy riffs and a relentless beat, top it off with a screaming solo halfway through, and you’ve got yourselves a brutal beauty. It even opens with the musical equivalent of a dramatic action sequence: a demure piano riff suddenly gives way to JB Christoffersson’s militaristic shred. If this doesn’t end up on the soundtrack to Thor 2, then maybe Loki does deserve to make us all his minions — or at least, the people who make lame superhero movie soundtracks.
Grand Magus’ The Hunt is out June 5 via Nuclear Blast.