Majestica - A Christmas Carol review



Reviewer:
8.3

32 users:
7.66
Band: Majestica
Album: A Christmas Carol
Release date: December 2020


01. A Christmas Carol
02. Christmas Story
03. Ghost Of Marley
04. Ghost Of Christmas Past
05. The Joy Of Christmas
06. Ghost Of Christmas Presen
07. Ghost Of Christmas To Come
08. A Christmas Has Come
09. A Majestic Christmas Theme


Those of us who live in the United States have a peculiar problem around this time of year: there's some dumbass holiday wedged in between Halloween and Christmas that prevents us from decking our halls as soon as the clock hits November.* That holiday is called Thanksgiving, and it's when we Americans remember to be thankful for the smallpox blankets we used to take over the continent. But Metal Storm is based in Estonia, where there are no such barriers to Christmas, so it's time to get sleighed.

Tommy Johansson may have been conscripted by Sabaton back in 2016, but far from impeding his personal endeavors, his new assignment seems to have given him a rocket boost. Majestica - the newly christened reboot of his erstwhile solo project, ReinXeed - is already on its second album in as many years, and this ain't even Tommy's only full-length release this year (he provided lead vocals for Memories Of Old's debut album, The Zeramin Game). With COVID-19 roasting everybody's holiday plans on an open fire and Trans-Siberian Orchestra forced to hang up their jingly bells for the season, Tommy has taken the opportunity to raise our spirits while also realizing a long-nurtured dream of his: releasing a Christmas album. And not just any Christmas album, but a proper concept album that retells Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol.

Now, everyone and their fairy godmother has adapted A Christmas Carol over the years. Mickey Mouse did it. Blackadder did it. Beavis & Butthead did it. Yes, The Simpsons also did it, like, 16 times, probably. It's a story we know quite well, so it takes something special to make yet another adaptation worth sitting through. Fortunately, the name "Majestica" ain't for nothing.

All four members of Majestica share lead vocals on this album, and Tommy isn't the only one with a set of golden power metal pipes in his lungs; everyone here could be equally at home fronting their own band. The cast of strong, operatic voices turns A Christmas Carol into a proper musical, with distinct characters trading dialogue and sharing scenes, and the broad expanse of the album's lead vocal palette imbues the music with feelings of warmth, comity, and community that beautifully enhance the message of the story, not to mention some positively angelic, sky-piercing hooks. An ebullient orchestral backing - strings, horns, glittering mallet percussion, and, of course, sleigh bells - generates an even grander sense of the divinely cheesy, taking inspiration from Stradventovarius, Santa Arcticlaus, and Eggnog Malmsteen. In addition to writing soul-enriching power metal and spreading the joy of Christmas, the secret mission of this album is to cram as many classic carols into every song as possible; I love the "O Come All Ye Faithful" solo that tears through the middle of "A Christmas Story" and right into an "O Holy Night" breakdown, and the "Deck The Halls" verses of "Ghost Of Marley" have to be the best perversion of a holiday standard since Dio and Iommi's "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen." Even if Christmas isn't your trip, this immaculately produced ennead of luxurious power metal (with some purely symphonic bookends) will satisfy your need for cheese, providing both ripping speed metal charges ("Ghost Of Christmas Past") and sappy ballads ("The Joy Of Christmas").

Now, me, I'm a sentimental doofus, and I love Christmastime. And while I do think it's a little early to start tossing tinsel over every banister and hand-carving your Nativity scenes, I can't deny that I, like most of you, have been in need of a little pick-me-up. A Christmas Carol may not be my favorite album of 2020, but it's the first one in all these months that has, purely through its own essence, made me feel kind of… good. It's certainly one of the most joyous celebrations of the season you'll hear in a heavy metal context, and it might be just the tidings that you need. This year, I won't be visiting family or spending time with my friends or even participating in an office party out of consideration for the circumstances, and neither should you, but hunkering down in your virus bunker doesn't mean that you have to miss out on the joy of Christmas.

*Not that that stops the department stores and radio stations from going from Dio to Dion as soon as Halloween dies.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 9


 



Written on 25.11.2020 by I'm the reviewer, and that means my opinion is correct.


Comments

Comments: 6   Visited by: 91 users
25.11.2020 - 21:32
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Tomy can Come home to Boden and clean some snow beffor Kalle Anka starts.

Kevin, Alaska belongs to USA, so there you can be free
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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26.11.2020 - 11:28
The Shape 1973
I'm a massive Dio fan, but I've never heard that track before. Didn't know it existed.

ps. what department stores play Dio? I want to shop there.
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So many chips on the world's shoulder. Low on ketchup.
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26.11.2020 - 17:47
TenebrisAlas
As a big fan of Tommy - from Reinxeed to Majestica, Pellek or even Twilight Force - i am really glad about this one. especially after the first 2 singles. thanks for the review !
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27.11.2020 - 07:06
ScreamingSteelUS
Editor-in-Chief
Written by The Shape 1973 on 26.11.2020 at 11:28

I'm a massive Dio fan, but I've never heard that track before. Didn't know it existed.

ps. what department stores play Dio? I want to shop there.

That version of "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen" is easily one of my favorite Christmas carols. It gets regular rotation on my holiday playlist.

Also, I was speaking figuratively in the sense of jumping straight from Halloween to Christmas chic, but I, too, would like to be informed if there are any department stores out there that play Dio.
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"Earth is small and I hate it" - Lum Invader

I'm the Agent of Steel.
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01.12.2020 - 15:59
KaninStryparn
I'm getting hyped for this album
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Heavy Metal is the law that keeps us all united free
A law that shatters earth and hell
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08.12.2020 - 01:09
Grom
I completely agree with the review, this album came at exactly the right moment this year when I needed a good pick me up. Year has been a little dry on the fun end of power metal in my opinion.
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Amidst the muffled, maddening beating of vile drums and the thin monotonous whine of accursed flutes.
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