Released: 2013, NoiseArt Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
As Majesty, then Metal Force, and then Majesty again, there’s no denying this German four-piece’s commitment to ‘true metal’. Over the last 15 years they’ve released six studio albums, one live album, and one best of collection - interestingly called Own The Crown.
The reason I say interestingly is because I’m not sure if Majesty ever truly came close to getting their hands on the shiny headgear. They make no secret of the influence Manowar has had on them, but even looking more widely, there are others still within the power/fantasy metal spectrum that have forged a more innovative path.
Still with Thunder Rider as the band’s first studio effort since returning to the Majesty name in 2011, perhaps they will have brought a new approach to the old name... well no. What we have here is an album that will appeal to those who have already given Majesty a throne to sit on, a collection of mid-paced tales of epic deeds, and heavy metal chumminess - see ‘Metal Union’.
With a few programmed rolls of thunder, ‘Thunder Rider’ at least makes an effort to get things a-going with its occasional bursts of speed and simple, yet catchy, chorus. A solid opening premise saves ‘Rebellion Of Steel’ from general obscurity, and although ‘Make Some Noise’ seems slightly out of place given its hard rock twist, as something a little outside the well-worn groove it’s worth grabbing onto.
Unfortunately for ‘Warlords Of The Sea’ as soon as I heard the line ‘we are sailing...’ the song was sunk as it sounds exactly like the opening line of an advertising jingle. It also doesn’t help that to my ear the lyrics kept coming out as “walruses of the sea” as opposed to “warlords” and therefore stripped away any atmosphere Majesty were attempting to create, even before the emotional plea set to the sound of waves began. Sticking with the theme of emotions, six-minute ballad ‘Asteria’ may mean to tearjerk but the central tune is quite national anthem-y, which meant I kept inserting my own lyrics. Oh and the guitar solo is of the epic variety that hasn’t been much in vogue since Slash stood on the edge of a cliff. Just saying.
To Majesty’s credit the music and lyrical themes fit pretty well together, but the ideas are so bogged down in cliché and cheese that it’s hard to find anything fully original to enthuse about. Honestly I think Thunder Rider was intended to gloriously carry Majesty back into the fray, but it ended up crossing the threshold at more of a limp than a charging gallop. Hopefully it’ll get a bit of tlc before being sent back out to battle.
Review by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs