Majestica - 'Above The Sky'

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Majestica - 'Above The Sky'

Up and down and front to back, this is a hands-down winner.

The Swedish band formerly known as ReinXeed make a sizzling return to the Power Metal community, albeit this time as Majestica. Since ReinXeed have not been active since 2013, vocalist and guitarist Tommy Johansson saw it as a golden opportunity to give the group a fresh start and what better way than with a new name (not to mention one that is far easier to pronounce).

Taking the new name from the title of ReinXeed's last release, Majestica come charging out with a collection of ten epic songs. With the band currently only possessing two other permanent members in Chris David (bass) and Alex Oriz (guitar), they recruited former Helloween drummer Uli Kusch to lend his incredible talents in the studio with live performances being handled by Daniel Sjogren. In addition to performing handily on vocals, Johansson makes a formidable contribution on keyboards as well. Throw Jeff Scott Soto and Mark Boals into a blender, add a healthy dose of "wow" factor and that starts to approximate the mind-boggling vocals of Johansson. The ability to take his sturdy Tenor style into the stratosphere is not only uncanny, but he also unleashes it in all the right places and at all the right times.

Oxymorons be damned, 'Above The Sky' is one frenzied and elegant affair. The album's duration is just enough for you to absorb all the music without growing fatigued, and it includes enough excitement and musicianship to leave you stunned. The record maintains a really nice balance of bombast ('Rising Tide'), drama ('Motley True') and Pop sensibility ('Night Call Girl'). 'The Rat Pack' features one of the most glorious choruses that has graced these ears for quite a while. 'Father Time' is one track that showcases a sense of humour by quoting Jacques Offenbach's 'Infernal Galop' from his 1858 operetta 'Orpheus In The Underworld' – there's a little Classical Music history lesson thrown in as a bonus! However, do not dare discount it as filler on account of its cheeky lyrical content because it stands as one of the most impressive displays of Johansson's superhuman range.

Up and down and front to back, this is a hands-down winner. They have everything in common with fellow Power Metal legends Helloween, Gamma Ray and Stratovarious as well as "newcomers" Dragonforce, Edguy and Firewind. Brace yourselves for this barn burner because this one is no joke... you have officially been notified and are implored to give this a listen.

Brent Rusche

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