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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Majestic

Labyrinth

Review by Mark Johnson

Majestic is back, and rather quickly after the fantastic album Ataraxia, with another album full of prog epic masterpieces. The band offered this set up for free as they said, “As a way of saying thank you for all the support Majestic has received from the prog rock community.” So you can download the album from this location for free: http://www.majesticsongs.com/blog/?page_id=730.

Performing on this album are some of the band’s main members, Jessica Rasche, on vocals; Jeff Hamel, on guitars and keyboards; John Wooten, on drums; Scott Hamel, bass on the track “Labyrinth,” and Jerry Swan, bass on the track “Mosaic.” Mark Mayers provides the interesting cover art.

Imagine getting something this good for free! This is a wonderful album full of epic tracks that showcase all of the talent that this band brings to the stage. This features wonderful keys and guitar work that sound original but at the same time takes you back to a time when you could relax and appreciate music in the fullness of its surrounding sound. This is excellent! Majestic, thank you!

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Labyrinth

The title track opens with quiet synth -like keys, but don’t let it fool you. The project is about to get angry with heavy metal guitars and powerful drums. Some of the guitar licks bring back memories of the great work from the Cult’s Love album. Great bass support and the consuming energy builds fast and loud as more cool guitar solos fill the soundscape before Rasche’s voice fills the air, set to cool synth – like keys. After over seven minutes of blasting guitars, bass and drums, the piece quiets down into a cool keyboard flow of rhythm which is haunting and at the same time spellbinding. Then some wonderful acoustic guitar enters to sooth even further.  This is perfect. Cool drifting guitar riffs roll over the soundscape as flute like keys match the traveler’s journey through the maze. The drums maintain the pace. Then Jessica re-enters the soundscape.  Then some more awesome blazing guitar work is heard, offset this time with the pinging of keys and synth sounds with fantastic heavy bass working into the cut. Some wonderful strings join Rasche for a very cool ethereal moment before the exploding drums and guitars return. Then some cool cascading piano keys weave an intricate melody with surrounding cymbals. Rasche’s best vocals on the track, close this epic masterpiece. It’s another great epic to add to their arsenal of great songs.

Mosaic
“Mosaic” opens to wind sounds, smooth cool keys, drums and slow electric guitar, almost taking me back to NoSound’s music. Then some cool Gilmouresque guitars flood the soundscape, bringing back memories of the famous Floyd sounds of the past. On this track, Rasche’s voice takes it up a notch to full power. You can hear her much clearer than the opening track. The acoustic guitar work, mixed with electric guitar that follows is simply amazing. It’s followed by some wonderful keys mixed with guitar.
Phoenix Rising
This opens with a cool electric guitar riff before the drums, cymbals, keys and bass join in. This is an excellent instrumental showcasing the band’s talent and it includes some fantastic soloing. Excellent keys, guitar work and drumming are all featured. This takes you back to some Collins–era Genesis sounds at times.
 
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