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Album Review: Majestica – Above the Sky

Album Review - Above The Sky ReinXeed have made their long-awaited return, and are now known as Majestica. A power metal band with a rather unique creative approach. One of the most distinctive aspects of their sound is definitely the fact that they combine outstanding technical chops with a really amazing sense of musicality and melody. The album features 12 songs, and it’s a relentless explosion of melodic, cinematic power metal with somewhat of a slight progressive feels, particularly when it comes to the lush arrangements of this release.

The opening number (the title track itself) is an excellent introduction to this release because it immediately dictates the tone and atmosphere of this record. I love the creamy, yet massive vocal tones,(it’s already well-established that Tommy Johansson is an elite vocalist) and more importantly, the vocal layers add so many harmonic elements to the music. This is a fun, fast-paced number with an engaging twist. The guitar solo is excellent – just that old school over-the-top metal solo, which is fast and melodic.

“Rising Tide” has a great guitar riff, which immediately adds a lot of dynamics to the groove. The vocals are also spot on. I love the alternated parts, where the lead vocals seem to have a dialogue with massive background vocals with many chanted sections. This song is perhaps home to one of the most impressive arrangements on this release as a whole. The musicianship on this one is impeccable, and I love the production. That, and I’m just a sucker for pirate metal.

“The Rat Pack” introduces some deeper synth sounds, which combine with the heavy guitars to give the album a different sonic signature for this track. Although the band explores new sounds, it remains anchored to the core vision for this release.

A fun play on the famous glam rock band featuring Tommy Lee and company, this song has an epic introduction, and it is, in fact, one of the most satisfactory sections in terms of stamina and adrenaline! This sounds like a metal version of an epic movie trailer, with all the grandeur you would expect, and yes, dragons.

“The Way to Redemption” makes me think of Hammerfall, and other pioneers of the genre, while still retaining Majestica’s unique feel. I love the theatricality of the vocal performances, as well as the beautiful synthesizers in the background. “Night Call Girl” begins with a synth that takes me back to the 80s, and the cool rhythm and guitar parts also sort of travel back to that cool hair metal era. It’s an awesome tribute to some of those awesome bands.

At this point, the album is starting to veer towards a more 80s sound, with “Future Land” kicking off with a riff slightly reminiscent of Springsteen’s Born In The USA, as well as “The Legend” featuring some cool ambient soundscapes and catchy electronic hooks. “Father Time (Where Are You”) allows the sound of the album to relax a bit. This song starts as a slower ballad, but it almost turns into something you’d expect to hear from bands such as Queen or Europe!

“Alliance Forever” is pure fast-paced power metal, and is a look at the evolution of the band. It’s a fantastic track and one of my personal favorites from the record. “Future Land (2002)” is a rerecording of the bands first song, and features distorted drums and some fuzz guitars effects. Which stays true to that feeling of being in your garage, and just messing around making some music with your friends. In keeping with the theme of evolution from the previous track, it’s like we’ve gone from who Majestica are as a band currently, to the 80s, to where it all began as ReinXeed, and then out of no where, “Spaceballs.” What a fun way to close a record that is given me nothing but smiles from the very opening track.

Ultimately, what I really loved about this album is definitely the fact that it explored such a wide variety of sonic signatures. From the crisp and energetic tone of modern metal, down to the fun, atmospheric and larger-than-life take on the sound of the 80s, anything goes. This album is a fun and energizing listening experience, with so much character and a really one-of-a-kind vibe. Majestica definitely stand out as something unique in this particular music scene, and it is amazing to see what they set out to create through the span of the 12 new studio tracks that appear on the album.

Final Score

Overall - 9.8

9.8

Excellent

A lush album with everything from a throwback 80s feel, to a look at where ReinXeed came from, and where Majestica is headed. In a rising tide of fantastic power metal releases this year, "Above the Sky" stands, above the sky.

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