Majestic Vanguard: Beyond The Moon
Majestic Vanguard - Beyond The Moon - [Rivel Records]


I really wouldn’t blame anyone for comparing Sweden's Majestic Vanguard with Christian power metallers Narnia, both bands perform a neoclassical power metal akin to Malmsteen's, with strongly religious texts and high soaring vocals.

I'll say this for Majestic Vanguard, there's no faulting the quality of their metal, well produced, well played, smart arrangements, strong mid range vocals, the classical bits in the music work well, but – anyone will the smallest aversion to religious content will be quite miffed by this, all texts relate to God and Jesus Christ, you get the drift, this is as Christian as it gets, while artists such as Impellitteri inject their lyrics with Christianity without being too obvious, Majestic have qualms about it, what makes singing along with their lyrics quite problematic for non-Christians or non-religious types, I mean, when they sing: "Beware of the sinful lifestyle", it does sound preachy, doesn't it?

I'll get back to the positive side, some tracks here are absolute winners, "Emotions Of A Picture" is a mid-paced melodic anthem, with strong choruses and great guitar work, the title song is more prog-like, again, the band certainly knows its craft, everything about this screams professionalism, it really doesn’t sound any weaker than many other better known melodic metal bands. I also liked the slight folk touches evident in such tracks as Footprints, slightly reminiscent of Falconer, it added a nice touch to the music.

All in all, it’s a great album for melodic metal fans, but those with non-religious tendencies will certainly enjoy the music much more than the lyrics and messages held within.

Alon Miasnikov

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