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Black Majesty – Cross Of Thorns Award winner

Black Majesty
Cross Of Thorns
by Craig Thrasher Rider at 01 September 2015, 9:29 AM

A fine Power and Melodic Heavy Metal band from Australia forms BLACK MAJESTY, a band who plays from the heart and soul and just generally kicks major ass phenomenally. The band has been around since 2001 and since then has crafted five full-length albums and just one EP. I consider Power Metal a rich experience every time and BLACK MAJESTY knew how to make me feel and sense that powerful intensity.

From beginning to end I sensed a DRAGONFORCE similarity now and then, keeping that melodic structure and fast intensity. Obviously no one can rival DRAGONFORCE through their intensity through the flames, yeah bad joke, but the notice is still there nonetheless. With also great vocals sounding a lot like ZP Theart at times and some powerful integration from Kobra Paige, fuses a powerhouse of fine melodic Metal.

You can fuse the melodic side of Metal in almost any genre if done rightly. Power however always manages to perfect it enriching the genre that much more. Bringing Power to the listener, good vibes and good times, full of energy and excitement comes “Cross Of Thorns”. BLACK MAJESTY have released a fine spectacle of might of Melodic Power tradition; they're no MANOWAR but more of a Thrashy version.

Begins the album with the sound of a rushing crow speeding onto the carnage of Metal, implementing Thrash like riffs from Stevie Janevski and Hanny Mohamed combined with the melody of keyboard transitions holds an atmospheric greatness and a fine opening track to this great album. John Cavaliere really has vocals of pure steel and energetic precision. These guys have really outdone themselves.

Melodic riffs and powerful drums with Ben Wignall pounding intensely: here comes another atmospheric winner. Some classical like Heavy Metal vocals (as Rob Halford would describe it) exposes some also fine solos with powerful precision, a fine track.)

“Vlad (The Impaler)”
This one showcases the more powerful elements the band potentially can show, keeping the great classical Heavy Metal vocals and those insane solos pouring out of the band: a fine intensifier of a track.

Slowing down the casual tradition of insane melodic thrashers, comes a fine, more chilled out song but shocks the listener as the powerful intensity returns with a bang, keeping the slower vibe but also keeping the faster side; a very nice “anthem” for the band.

“Out In The Fields” (Gary Moore Cover)
Honestly I haven't listened to the legendary Gary Moore yet (may he rest in peace) and I feel a bit foolish not doing so, I must sort this out… But after listening to this I know what I'm missing and if I listened to this song beforehand I'd probably say this is a fantastic cover and tribute to the man. Very melodic of course and majestic in a way. I assume this is BLACK MAJESTY's own take on the song, forming it into a Metal filled majestic winner.

The rhythm in the vocals is the highlight in this one for me as well as the pounding drums fused with the fast intensity of the returning riffs, with returning solos and emotional vocals. This one's other highlight is the amazing solos, fantastic.

“Make Believe”
Returning in slower form but beginning with those fantastic solos and groovy riffs make for another fine addition to this great album. The riffs and solos are in fine tune as well as some great drumming skills here.

“One Life”
Some Rob Halford-like screams at the beginning of this one. The bass can really be heard too, and Evan Harris is beastly here. And the drums get better too, really showcasing some fine brutality here.

“Emptiness Ideal”
Some fine riffs on this one, explosive and terrifying, fantastic.

Ending the album comes a fine melody of true musicianship and insanely epic and explosive riffs. This is perhaps the finest Power Metal album I have heard in a good while, keeping the great vocals in time with rhythm, great song.

In a sense the album is very much identical to each other and can sound very similar after each track, but that's the beauty of Metal. Us Metalheads usually love this but it can grow tiring after a while. Though “Cross Of Thorns” is an ultimately fantastic album this can be a downside but that's pretty much my only complaint. The album is a classic in its own right and shouldn't be looked over if you're “heavily” into Metal like I am.

Check it out.

4 Star Rating

1. Phoenix
2. Anneliese
3. Vlad The Impaler
4. Crossroads
5. Out In The Fields (Gary Moore Cover)
6. Misery
7. Make Believe
8. One Life
9. Emptiness Ideal
10. Escape
John Cavaliere - Vocals
Stevie Janevski – Guitars, Vocals (Backing)
Hanny Mohamed – Guitars, Keyboards
Ben Wignall - Drums
Evan Harris – Bass
Record Label: Pride & Joy Music


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