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Majestic - Arrival CD (album) cover

ARRIVAL

Majestic

 

Neo-Prog

4.11 | 68 ratings

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TenYearsAfter
4 stars "Exciting harder-edged symphonic rock"

Majestic is a musical project of USA citizen Jeff Hamel (guitar, keyboards and vocals). He started to play guitar when he was 14 years old, in The Eighties he was a member of prog metal band Osmium and in the Nineties he studied a few years recording technology in Detroit. In 2004 his passion for symphonic progrock led to the foundation of Majestic, between 2008 and 2014 the very prolific Majestic released 8 studio-albums (along two compilation CD's), his latest albums is Epsilon 2 from 2014. This review is about his third album Arrival from 2009, considered as his best effort.

This very long CD (close to 80 minutes) opens with the 22 minutes composition Gray: first a dreamy intro with twanging electric guitar and pleasant vocals, then the music alternates between a fluent rhythm with bombastic keyboards, heavy guitar and a thunderous rhythm-section and a more mellow climate with wonderful female vocals. In between we can enjoy a blistering guitar solo. After a part with fine synthesizer flights, propulsive guitar riffs and ominous sounding keyboards, follows a mellow part featuring all sorts of sounds and soaring vocals. Then a great build-up, the music gradually turns into more lush and heavy, somewhere between gothic and prog metal with heavy guitar riffs and majestic organ. In the final part the music slows down but in the end it's again bombastic with heavy work on guitar and keyboards.

The next song Wish (almost 10 minutes) is an oasis of silence in comparison with the previous song: warm acoustic guitar with soaring vocals, then gradually the music slowly becomes more compelling and halfway we can enjoy an excellent, strongly build-up guitar solo with biting runs and sensational use of the wah-wah pedal.

The third track Gilde (also close to 10 minutes) starts in a prog metal atmosphere, then a spacey interlude and a captivating build-up to fluent and sumptuous with spectacular work on guitar and keyboards.

Finally the epic titletrack clocking 36 minutes! But despite this very long running time, Majestic succeeds to keep my attention, due to the many strong musical ideas and surprising twists and turns. After a spacey intro with subtle guitar work, a pleasant female voice joins, followed by a build-up to compelling and bombastic prog with emotional vocals and fiery wah-wah guitar. Then lots of shifting moods, breaks and great dynamics: prog metal, a slow rhythm with organ and slow drum beats, a hypnotizing guitar solo with fiery runs, a dreamy part with classical guitar, a blistering guitar solo with wah-wah, a compelling bombastic atmosphere delivering organ, vocals and a propulsive rhythm-section and finally a beautiful part with a moving guitar solo, accompanied by sequencers, very original!

If you like harder-edged symphonic rock, Heavy Prog, prog metal or gothic rock, I am sure this album will delight you!

TenYearsAfter | 4/5 |

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