Released: 2003, Massacre Records
Reviewer: Night of the Realm
Germany’s true metal warriors Majesty have been on a roll since their independently-released KEEP IT TRUE in 2000, releasing 3 albums all of excellent quality in 4 years. I first came across Majesty early last year with the band’s second album, SWORD AND SORCERY, which immediately hooked me with the band.
REIGN IN GLORY delivers a second dose of true heavy metal just like the first two albums, and just about equal in quality (I find that I prefer SWORD AND SORCERY slightly over REIGN IN GLORY as my favourite Majesty). Although most listeners will draw parallels between Majesty and Manowar, especially through imagery and lyrics, it should be noted that Majesty’s traditional metal sound is not only influenced by Manowar, but also equally or greater shared by classic metal bands such as Accept, Iron Maiden, and even a little Virgin Steele.
Overall, I find the album to be slightly unbalanced, with the bulk of the fast songs coming on the first half of the album, while the second is more focused on slower epics and pseudo-ballads. The album kicks off with total fucking speed metal with “Heavy Metal Battlecry.” The opening riff is one that would make Rock n Rolf and all of Running Wild proud to hear. Then Tarek Maghary’s vocals kick in, a perfect fit for Eric Adams’ scream/growl amidst thunderous drums. Tarek’s voice adds tremendous power to each song, his commanding vocal presence actually adding to the heaviness of the album. We even have the gratuitous Manowar epic spoken word solo/interlude just before a screaming guitar solo. If the opener doesn’t get you up and headbanging, you might as well give up now. Ok, kiddies, time to get your fists pumping into the air for the anthemic “Into the Stadiums.” Here, we have the ultimate Metal paradox: true heavy metal needs no glorification as the music is self reinforcing, but how wrong can one go with yet another song singing the praises of heavy metal? This headbanger, for one, says bring it on. “Reign in Glory” is another anthem right before the galloping “Will of the Cobra.” “Reign in Glory” is another one of those brilliant speed metal songs on the album. Starting off with a nice little melodic acoustic intro, the song just fucking explodes at 36 seconds in with some furious lead/rhythm speed. My favourite song on the disc, this track alternates blistering speed with some slower but more epic choruses and full-on gallop. Right smack in the middle of the song around the 3:50 are a couple kickass extended solos building to a crescendo as the song starts to eventually wind its way back down to an acoustic outro much like the song’s beginning. At “Lord of the Damned,” the album marks a change to the slower epics much like the early Manowar epic metal. “Heroes” begins with a very Running Wild-ish intro, although the song itself is a slower battle march that is almost semi-ballad. The melodic chorus in here (Herooooo-oh-oh-oh-ohs…hehehe…yeah) sounds great; I could easily hear this one played live with a bunch of leather-clad metal warriors helping out. The album kinda peters out after this track. “Thunder in the Silence” is a misnomer, as I hear nothing at all resembling thunder in this pseudo-ballad, “Troopers of Steel” is much like the title track of the album, although the wankery about halfway through is very cool. Closing out the album is “Falcon in the Storm” at over ten minutes in length. Although this is another slow song, the song packs a lot of power to close out the album on a strong note.
All in all, the songs on REIGN IN GLORY are more varied in style than SWORD AND SORCERY, I find the previous album to be heavier and, to me, slightly more enjoyable. Still, anyone who is a fan of traditional metal in the vein of Manowar, Accept, Running Wild, Manilla Road and such will find that Majesty are one of the strongest bands playing that style of metal today. Additionally, those picking up the limited digipak version will find a cover of Manowar’s greatest epic, “Battle Hymn.” As much as I hate digipaks, the Manowar cover makes this evil packaging layout worthy of purchase.