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Majestic: Epsilon 1

Jeff Hamel is back with his latest incarnation of Majestic. This time the band is releasing, in two stages, a double CD space odyssey titled Epsilon. Epsilon's story is loosely based upon the star Epsilon, which is part of the Eridanus, (The River), constellation. The lyrics and music follow the "story of Phaëton, (or Phaëthon), the son of the Sun god Helios and the Oceanid Clymene. Phaëton wanted to drive his father's chariot across the sky and kept begging for Helios' permission to do so until the god agreed, advising Phaëton to follow the beaten track where he saw wheel marks", according to the band's website.

The first CD, Epsilon 1, includes: Hamel on guitars and keyboards; Mike Kosacek, on drums; V.O.Z alumni David Cagle, (Liberty & Justice); Celine Derval (Scythia); Marc Atkinson, (Riversea, Nine Stones Close, Mandalaband) , and Chris Hodges, (Every Living Soul), on vocals.

With an excellent storyline chosen to focus his attention, Hamel weaves an intricate musical symphony full of metal guitar, thumping drums, deep bass, and innovative keyboards. The launching, "Chariot" is definitely an early highlight, but my favorite track was "Mother Dearest", with Celine Derval's Grace Slick – like vocals. Hopefully she will be a vital part of the second CD and all future projects.

Marc Atkinson's guest appearance, on "Starlight", was well worth the effort and your price of admission. The epic trilogy, "Epsilon I, II, and III" is also full of innovative guitar work and electronic keyboard wonders.

I do not know what fountain of inspiration Hamel dips his guitar and keyboards into, but for sure…it is filled deep with innovation. This is another great adventure of sound which you should experience. Definitely looking forward to the next CD and how the journey ends.

Track Listing:

1. Chariots
2. Mother Dearest
3. Starlight
4. Epsilon I – Event Horizon
5. Epsilon II – Doorways
6. Epsilon III – Samskaras

Added: September 14th 2014
Reviewer: Mark Johnson
Score:
Related Link: http://www.majesticsongs.com
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Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Majestic: Epsilon 1
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2014-09-14 18:33:21
My Score:

Majestic is the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Jeff Hamel. He formed the project in 2004 and their first album, Descension, was released in 2007. Epsilon 1 is the seventh album although I believe the follow up Epsilon 2 has already been released. I was looking forward to this one as I quite liked Arrival, the last one I have heard. I suppose I have some catching up to do.

Here Jeff teams up with drummer Mike Kosacek, who first appeared on the V.O.Z. album, and guest vocalists Marc Atkinson (Nine Stones Close), David Cagle (Liberty & Justice), Celine Derval (Scythia) and Chris Hodges (Every Living Soul).

It shouldn't come as a surprise the results are excellent beginning with the eleven minute "Chariots". Calmer, spacier moments are mixed with heavier bits of prog metal riffs and melodic guitar work. "Mother Dearest" is even heavier with a huge organ intro, complex riff patterns and interesting keyboard effects. The shimmering "Starlight" is a lovely mid tempo slice of neo prog featuring Atkinson's moody lead vocals. His voice has a wistful quality and when combined with Hamel's wonderful synth textures and soaring leads the result is pure prog bliss.

The last three tracks make up the epic "Epsilon" suite, a progressive tour de force with wonderful guitar and keyboard interaction. It is truly a majestic piece with multiple crescendos, spiraling lead guitar and a myriad of keyboard sounds. Cagle's lead vocals are also very strong.

If you are a progressive music fan, and I presume you are, please do not hesitate to pick up Epsilon 1, it is that good.




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