Majestic: Instrumentals Collection
If you are at all familiar with my reviews you might know I am a big fan of Jeff Hamel and his Majestic project which formed in 2006. Based out of Minnesota, the project has churned out some great albums, most recently the Epsilon releases with both earning spots on my best of the year list for 2014.
The new release, Instrumentals Collection, is exactly how it sounds; selected instrumentals from four of his albums. Two of these albums, V.O.Z. and Ataraxia are missing from my collection so it was nice to hear some new tunnage.
The music of Majestic covers a variety of progressive sub genres like space, psychedelic, neo, heavy prog and symphonic rock, often with a retro feel. Hamel is an accomplished musician and on this collection of songs he adds guitar and keyboards. Joining Jeff are:
Mike Kosacek – drums
John Wooten – drums (tracks 2,6)
Celine Derval - vocals (track 5)
Jessica Rasche – vocals (track 6)
These are ten finely crafted tunes beginning with "Spirits Dwell" and its Floyd-like underpinnings of guitar and spacey keys. When the guitar gets heavier it brings back a hard rock '70s vibe. The melodic "Dance of the Elders" is filled with dreamy keyboard textures and soaring guitar but also delves into some heavier riffage and a big orchestral sound with violin synths leading the way.
One of my favourite tracks is the intricate "The Journey Back" taken from his latest disc Epsilon 2. The drumming of Kosacek is quite impressive. That said, there is not a skippable track in the bunch.
For those of you who are new to Majestic this would certainly be a worthwhile listen. You can even download it for free on Majestic's website. If you like what you're hearing may I suggest you purchase an album from their back catalogue. After all, there are eight studio albums to choose and I haven't heard a bad one yet.
1. Spirits Dwell (8:16)
2. Dance of the Elders (8:24)
3. The Journey Back (6:07)
4. Modus Operandi 7 (7:17)
5. Becoming (Reprise) (6:43)
6. Astral Dream (7:32)
7. Rise to the Surface (6:10)
8. Skies Clear (3:30)
9. Doorways (7:46)
10. Hyperbole (9:14)
Added: April 25th 2015
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
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