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Major Denial - Duchess of Sufferings

Major Denial
Duchess of Sufferings
by Martin "Doomed" Desbois at 25 March 2018, 1:00 AM

MAJOR DENIAL is a melodic progressive metal from Athens, Greece.They offer us their first full length album two years after their EP "Minor Ways" back in 2015."Duchess of Suffering" is a conceptual album about a man who's lust for a woman will change is life forever. Formed in 2013 they are currently unsigned.The album is mixed and mastered by Daniel Cardoso ( ANATHEMA, ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN) and was available on December 6th, 2017. Duchess of sufferings" is an album full of emotions, feelings and while being a progressive metal album should please some Gothic oriented listeners.

The vocalist Yannis Papadopoulos gives a great performance or emphasizes mostly on sentimentalism but don't get fooled: his voice is energetic,powerful,theatrical. FATES WARNING enthusiasts should like him. "Illustrious" is the first track and delivers some good progressive variations and riffs,the vocal harmonies are quite good. It gets to the point very fast.The lyrics are precise,after a few verses we know what the album will lead us.Romanticism , darkness, despair,and the trials of a man who's feelings directs him to paths unknown.There are multiple variations in this songs.Not a progression but many rhythm changes.Progressive without  being complex and is fully accessible. "Rise with the dawn" has very catchy guitars.The vocals show a more great range: from mid to cleans , and a little rasping. I really like that one.A little jazzy bass part is a pleasure for me. Great solos,evolutionary ones, effective and creative.Ends up with rasping voice which is cool and make a difference.Giving accent to the tragic of the story.

"Immortality" is a well written song, we can hear piano, nice guitar intro. The vocals harmonies are far more interesting here. The riffs are more aggressive at times and got a powerful rhythm guitar teamed with melodies that transpires works of passion and melancholia, the metal way.We can feel a great ascension to something better and better. "In sickness of lust" shows again a great song, I must admit at first listen I was a little annoyed by vocals when it got too emotional, but i had a second listen to give it another chance or point of view. I found some similarities with Wayne Hussey (THE MISSION).They don't sing in the same range but for delivering emotions they are quite brothers in crime. I think i could get used to it after some more listens which is positive.

I had a SAVATAGE flashback too. The best albums are growers. "The Chains of failure" marks a turning point, drums has more dynamics. Again they got a great sense of harmonics in vocals.I can hear some classical here.The power rhythm guitar are pushing us forward into the storm of emotions and regrets of the protagonist. "She wears shadows"  offers some refreshing intro here: we can hear sitar and be engulfed in Oriental grounds for a few moment. Nothing's better to let us travel far away than using an oriental instrument to do so.Using the formula that we are now used to, they gives us another very good well composed song, with a superb progressive ascension. A big Highlight is the collaboration with Lisette Van den berg (sister of WHITESNAKE's bassist? hehe) on the ending track,"Se ipse necavit"  (in Latin means "and she has put to death" for those wandering!).

She's got a superb voice and is a great surprise to my ears. She collaborated with Arjen Lucassen (AYREON) in the past. She's got plenty of talent, and procures much ambiance and depth to the song. She's amazing.Hope to see her with future band's releases. "Duchess of sufferings" is a creative,well written album with plenty of emotion,force and inspiration,based on Clive Barker's Coldheart Canyon novel. Some listeners may be annoyed by vocals , some not.Musically they are perfect for their genre. They could play live with the likes of FATES WARNINGAYREON,etc. They seem to be inspired a little by doom metal, i heard some CANDLEMASS (bleeding baroness song). They are not pure prog power metal they are inspired by a wide variety of styles and it makes an album versatile and quite weird at some points but worth listening.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Illustrious
2. Rise with the dawn
3. Immortality
4. In sickness we lust
5. The chains of failures
6. She wears shadows
7. The water's black
8. Agonies of fear
9. Duchess of suffering
10. Se ipse necavit
Nektarios Ntagkas  - Rhythm Guitars
Achilleas Diamantis - Lead and rhythm Guitars
Panagiotis Aramis -    Bass
Kostas Milonas - Drums
Stratos Diamantis - Piano and Keys
Lisette Van den berg - Guest Vocals
Record Label: Steel Gallery Records


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Edited 30 September 2022

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