MAJESTICA - Above The Sky

June 28, 2019, 3 months ago

(Nuclear Blast)

Mark Gromen

Rating: 6.0

review heavy metal majestica

MAJESTICA - Above The Sky

Formerly known as ReinXeed (to me, a name that conjured up automobile windshield wiper company Rain-X), it's the long running band of singer/guitarist Tommy Johansson. Yes, the same six-stringer recently recruited into Sabaton, who are also signed to Nuclear Blast. Go figure! Albeit the first, under the new moniker, this is actually Johansson's seventh release, with his own band. The mainman characterizes his band as, “real power metal, in the vein of Helloween, Stratovarius and Gamma Ray, (with) high pitched vocals like Michael Kiske, Timo Kotipelto and Sebastian Bach.” For this recording, former Weenie/Rayniac/Masterplan drummer Uli Kusch was onboard. The cover artwork is by none other than fellow Sabaton guitar partner Chris Rörland.

While Tommy references some of the top “high singers”, his own natural register is deeper. Right from the bass rumbling begun title track, which opens, he demonstrates no aversion to hitting boy's choir falsetto, but only as punctuation. Bit of irony, said tune contains (omnipresent symphonic elements and) the lyric, “no eagles flying free,” as he apes Kiske's classic delivery. Not the first, nor last, veiled reference to one of his influences. More than the best known, previously mentioned acts, Majestic employs a heavy dose of orchestral undercurrent, thus melding the two recent offshoot of the power metal sub-genre: Kamelot meets Twilight Force, if you will. Never completely able to shake the classical instrumentation, it's readily more evident on “Rising Tide”. Lovers of stratospheric piercing vocals should check out the chorus to the keyboard accompanied sword & sorcery “Mötley True” (as in true metal warrior). Until it takes a movie score diversion, midway through, “The Way To Redemption” is a fairly straight forward, heads down, speedster. Speaking of Hollywood music, “Night Call Girl” is somewhere between danceable ‘70s pop rock and newfound revivalists (and fellow Swedes) Night Flight Orchestra. “Future Land” (title sound familiar?) is another fleet fingered video game soundscape. Given their homeland, no disguising the rollicking/trumpet accented intro to “The Legend”, suspiciously close to Europe's “Final Countdown”. Blazing fast, piano and falsetto peppered personal in-joke “Father Time” shouldn't be taken seriously: concerns Santa being shot by Father Time, as musical passages feature takes on the can-can melody and Queen's “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Disc closing “Alliance Forever” returns to normalcy.

Decent, but without the Sabaton connection, not sure this rocket ever gets off the launching pad, as more worthy (unfortunately faceless) entities struggle for recognition, let alone high profile promotion.


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