In Your Honour
8/23/2010 - Review by: Eric Compton
I remember six or seven years ago when Limb released their catalogue here in the US through SPV. At that time, they were really carrying the torch for the next wave of young metal talent. I recall sorting through albums by the likes of Black Majesty, Gun Barrel, Dungeon, Cryonic Temple and Eldritch and feeling like I was looking at a set of rookie cards, a talented roster that would eventually be the next generation of European power metal. Now it is 2010 and some of these bands are into their fourth or fifth records and have finally embraced the term 'veteran' and have shined with success and stardom within the genre.
One of those bands, Black Majesty, really stood out with their sense of traditional Helloween-inspired speed crossed with a progressive vocalist that recalled Queensryche. Now the Australian power metal vehicle has released their fourth career record, a stellar venture entitled "In Your Honour". The album is once again released by Limb and produced by the famed Roland Grapow, former Helloween and now Masterplan guitarist. The album is rich with the traditional values that have made the band work so well thus far, and really doesn’t wonder too far from the previous three records making this another consistent outing for the group.
The record begins with a fantastic romp called "Far Beyond", settling into a good blocky main riff with tiny keyboard strokes to surround it. The band uses genre-standard double bass backed with soaring vocals that lead into that "sing along" chorus bit on this track as well as most of the songs featured here. "Further Than Insane" is another Black Majesty staple, a quick tempo punch with fast and powerful riffs incorporating some stellar up front bass lines. I love the Maiden rhythm on "God Of War" with its cool hooks through the verses. That track really builds up and explodes into a Gamma Ray styled chorus. The album is complete with the almost obligatory ballad, the Hammerfall sounding "Break The Chains". My favorite cut is the stormy rapid fire approach on "Witching Hour", which really mixes up the vocal melodies.
Overall this is a fantastic release and another notch on the belt for Black Majesty. This band continues to produce consistent, well polished power metal ventures that never stray too far from their audience. They know the tools of their trade and how to succeed in a crowded industry. "In Your Honour" is a fast and powerful album that recalls Helloween’s glorious past while still fully embracing the future of metal. For fans of Masterplan, Helloween and Mob Rules.
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