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Majestica - Above the Sky

Majestica
Above the Sky
by John Paul Romero at 10 June 2019, 4:50 AM

Before Tommy Joohansson joined the war historians SABATON, he was already busy playing guitars and laying down vocals with his band called REINXEED. However, as SABATON grew bigger and bigger, his time and attention with the said band just seemed to have evaporated. But lo and behold, they are back – and with a new name. They are now known as MAJESTICA, a name which also served as a tribute to the album “Majestic” that they released in 2010.

Tommy brags that the album is filled with resemblances of HELOWEEN, GAMMA RAY and STRATOVARIUS. And well, that is just what they have showed with opening track “Above the Sky”. The bass intro is pretty much HELLOWEEN inspired, while the guitar parts are rooted to STRATOVARIUS and GAMMA RAY. The case is mostly the same with “Rising Tide”. The choruses are big and anthemic, and made even more epic by Tommy’s signature vocals. More than just an excellent guitarist, it is very well known to the fans that Tommy is also an amazing vocalist, even sitting in as touring vocalist of the band TWILIGHT FORCE back when they haven’t found a permanent singer yet.

While the album seemed to have a constant formula on the songs, you’ll hear very unique and captivating songs like “Future Land”. If you are looking for happy metal, this is the one for you.  The marching rhythm of the intro will surely catch your attention, and it only gets bigger and better as the song progresses. The bass is strong all throughout the album, but in this song the bass lines get that IRON MAIDEN level of exposure. It also has excellent lyrical content, and the drum work is clean and consistent. Meanwhile, song “Night Call Girl” is one of the two songs whose title are not very power metalish. And when you hear it, it will give you an amazing hint of a dancey intro, and an overall disco(ish) vibe especially with the kind of chorus it has. Although majorly disco anchored, the song is still very much power metal as it has all the essentials in power metal – the shreds, the fast pace drums, and the catchiness. This song can contest that! In terms of memorability, this song gets the trophy.

True power metal majesty is what they have shown in the two longest songs in the album. Let’s talk first about the last song on the album, “Alliance Forever”. It starts with an AVANTASIA fashioned buildup and continues the same AVANTASIA progression. And then it slowly and seamlessly transitions into an all-out GAMMA RAY/STRATOVARIUS type of assault. The riffs are so strong and memorable, and the drumwork is astonishing. The drums is one aspect of the album that I noticed was left to sound really raw, and it worked very well with the songs. On the other hand, Motley True, the longest song in the album and the other of those two songs whose title are a bit strange leans into a mid-paced attack. Of all songs, this one is the most dense and most eventful. The work on keyboards strangely reminds me of DRAGONLAND’s “Starfall”. The overall vibe is heavy, but it still keeps that touch of joy every here and there.

Before the album closes with “Alliance Forever”, the track “Father Time” comes in in a very, very epic way. It opens with an emotional solo singing by Tommy, then transitions to a faster, nursery rhyme like rhythm with a very genuine touch of humor in it. And when the verses and choruses, it’s simply too epic. The additional background vocals add so much cheese to it, but it definitely worked well. You might find this song sounding like Tom and Jerry chase music, but that’s fine. I know for sure that the song intended to put a grin on faces with the way it was formulated. Just imagine, father time had to kill Santa and his reindeers? That’s crazy!

MAJESTICA’s return seemed to be from out of nowhere. Prior to the release of this album, there’s no drama whatsoever.  And that is also reflected in the songs. Everything is delivered straight to your face, with full force. Tomy’s vocals and solos fit perfectly with his shred-mate Alex and it is well cemented by the omnipresence of Uli behind the drum kit. Chriss and his bass also played substantial roles in the song in major moments and that is what I loved about this album. While Tommy’s singing is undeniably the top attraction, it was very well supported by well-written, well-produced and well-executed layers of sound.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Above the Sky
2. Rising Tide
3. The Rat Pack
4. Motley True
5. The Way to Redemption
6. Night Call Girl
7. Future Land
8. The Legend
9. Father Time
10. Alliance Forever
Lineup:
Tommy Johansson – Guitars, Vocals
Alex Oriz – Guitars
Chris David – Bass
Uli Kusch – Drums (Studio)
Daniel Sjögren – Drums (Live)
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records
     


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