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Black Majesty - 'Stargazer' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 06, 2012    
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You won't find a more extreme version of Melodic Power Metal than this.

Take AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, The Angels, Rick Springfield, Jimmy Barnes, Cold Chisel, Silverchair, The Screaming Jets, Wolfmother and Airbourne out of the question and how many Australian Hard Rock and Metal bands can you name? (John Farnham and INXS don’t count!) Okay, try this. How many Australian Power Metal bands can you name? Without cheating on the Internet! Yes, they’re as rare in Europe as rocking horse you-know-what!

Black Majesty have been going since 2001, originally under the name Kymera but changed it when they discovered the name was already claimed. They haven’t had a permanent bass player in the band since before the first album and ‘Stargazer’ is now their fifth release of a five album deal with Limb Music. Having supported the likes of Dragonforce, Nevermore, Helloween, Saxon, Edguy and Paul Di’Anno in their homeland and played at the biggest Metal festival in Europe, Wacken as well as at the fast gaining popularity of Masters Of Rock in the Czech Republic it’s clear that Black Majesty are a band to be reckoned with.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The incredibly fast riffing opener ‘Falling’ with its extreme double bass drumming, soaring vocals and Crimson Glory feel in places was a stunning introduction to the album, in fact so magnificently metallised it could scorch a tree at fifty paces! And they don’t let up on second track ‘Lost Horizon’ either with more fast riffing by guitarists Steve Janevski and Hanny Mohamed, and double bass drumming where vocalist John Cavaliere has great sustain on his vocals reminiscent of ‘Queen Of The Ryche’ era Geoff Tate. ‘Voice Of Change’ has a galloping rhythm similar to Iron Maiden and Helloween and then I later find out that Masterplan and ex Hellowen guitarist Roland Grapow has mixed the album: to great effect.

In actualality you won’t find a more extreme version of Melodic Power Metal than this as to top this album one would have to be verging on the ridiculous! When they slow it down a tad such as on ‘Killing Hand’ they combine strong solid riffs with metronomic drumming by Pavel Konvalinka and Grapow has done a great job with bringing the bass to the fore overall, especially on ‘Edge Of The World’ (combined with over the top Speed Metal guitaring) and ‘Symphony Of Death’ which is slower and more mid-paced than others with a Maiden style guitar solo. Standout track is probably the title track ‘Stargazer’ with its Iron Maiden style epic beginning with melodic bass lines and harmony guitar before the double bass drums kick in and special mention must go to the German edition bonus track ‘Shine’, a complete contrast to the epic Power Metal on display as Cavaliere sings in a controlled much lower register alongside an acoustic guitar for a rather mature ballad.

If neck breaking headbanging epitomised by the likes of Dragonforce is your cup of tea then I suggest booking the hospital appointment first before sticking this CD in your player!

Carl Buxton

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