Majestica – “Above The Sky” (Nuclear Blast)
Battle Helm Rating
Oh wow, if you didn’t know there was a different side to Sabaton’s guitarist Tommy Johansson, then check out Majestica – his new, power metal jewel! However, to those familiar with Johansson’s career prior to joining the Swedish war machine, then ReinXeed will no doubt spring to mind and in fact, Majestica is a continuation of what he started in 2004 – indeed the name is a tribute to their 2010 album “Majestic”. But given that ReinXeed hasn’t released anything since 2013, Johansson felt it best to re-brand – and bring in the thundering drums of Uli Kusch (ex-Helloween) to record this terrific debut. Handling lead vocals himself, the power metal influences of Gamma Ray and of course Helloween are undeniable, but thanks to Johansson’s talents, the music also features symphonic, pirate and even AOR elements here and there, while masses of catchy hooks and melodies are abundant throughout the 10 dazzling songs. Galloping in on ‘Rising Tide’, Johansson’s high and heartfelt vocals soar in their passion backed by forceful choirs, while the lead melody is instantly gripping as Kusch brings his sterling double bass beats to bear before the fast, folky solo just frazzles you ever so blissfully! Increasing the speed and injecting the keyboard power both melodically and symphonically on ‘The Way To Redemption’, Johansson’s vocals are pitched perfectly in their tenderness, hitting the highs to not only fuel the energy, but also add drama as the slick guitars really go to work mid song, spectacularly alternating in their melody and heaviness before returning to the symphonic splendour. With trumpets sounding proudly, ‘The Legend’ is like a symphonised Freedom Call, complete with its ultra catchy singalong chorus and grabbing, passionate riffs all capped off once again by Johansson’s astounding voice that is as high as it is heartfelt. Hugely impressive, “Above The Sky” is truly up in the clouds as its title suggests!