Majesty Of Revival – Iron Gods
Majesty Of Revival – Iron Gods (2013)
Reviewed by Daniel Millard
There’s always a chink in your armor as a critic. Even the best-rounded and most-exposed reviewer finds himself or herself faced with a glaring omission once in a while. I’m not that guy, but given that I totally overlooked Majesty Of Revival’s debut, Through Reality, in 2012, it would seem that I owe someone somewhere a beer. Ukraine has contributed increasingly to power metal’s talent pool in recent years, what with the success of bands like Conquest, Sunrise, and Morton, and Majesty Of Revival seems bound and determined to follow in the footsteps of its countrymen after a 2013 signing to excellent young label Power Prog Records.
Majesty Of Revival plays kind of a quirky blend of power metal, which traverses back and forth between simplistic and bombastic. Neoclassical stylings are fairly frequent, but I wouldn’t say that it is accurate to call this either progressive or symphonic power metal, in terms of overarching genre descriptors. Piano and keyboard work is extremely prominent, from stately grand piano (“Edge Of Sanity”) to big, powerful organs (opener “Nameless Guest”), but the guitar is often inexplicably buried. At several points during the album, I realized that, behind the vocals and keyboards, there existed a fairly intricate guitar line, but it was so quiet in comparison to other musical elements so as to be almost completely invisible. I understand trying to play an instrument with subtlety and to add color, but sometimes the guitar play here doesn’t even accomplish that much.
Sum this with fairly run-of-the-mill neoclassical runs and arpeggiations, and you have a very cookie-cutter approach from the strings on this album overall. Ukrainian power metal vocal fixture (not that he has much competition) Konstantin Naumenko sounds good here, at least, although the growls that pop up behind him on occasion are somewhere between atrocious and just poor. There are also short but routine portions of spoken words throughout the album, which just distract me, and detract from the music as a whole.
I feel pretty strongly that this album is front-loaded with the exception of the titular “Iron Gods”, which has some particularly good supporting keyboard passages, solos, and a few decent bits of shredding. The first few tracks have most of the outstanding and most memorable work – which I would still classify as decent at best, and above a fair bit of the filler that I feel constitutes much of the rest of the album.
At the risk of sounding unappreciative of the band’s effort, I think that Iron Gods is a reasonably good third string power metal release. The instrumentation and singing is professional and comes off as well-groomed, and presentation is very clean, but musical inconsistencies clash with periods of very uninspired feeling songwriting. Iron Gods was entertaining for a couple of listens, but pales gravely in comparison to many of 2013’s stronger offerings. All the same, I recommend this to fans of keyboard-heavy power metal, or any other Ukrainian outfits (particularly Naumenko’s other bands), as it may well strike a chord with these listeners. I’ll pass graciously on this one.
2.75 // 5