One of Australia’s best bands is back: BLACK MAJESTY. Their debut “Sands Of Time“ already had been top notch and contained high-class Power Metal of the European school and the quartet from down under stays very true to itself, which means that we should not expect many true surprises.
The cover (again by Thomas Ewerhard) continues the debut’s artwork and somehow either a band member has to be a Leo or the album has a deeper meaning towards this, because we do not only get a big lion’s head in the background, no, the masked and armoured lady in the foreground holds the Leo zodiac sign in one hand and in the other a sword that bears the same symbol in the hilt, additionally the broche holding her cape together has two fighting lions on it, there has to be something about this.
And how does the whole thing look musically? Here, too, they follow the same target as the driving opener “Dragon Reborn“ unmistakably makes clear, fat double-bass, strong vocals and melodies, a quite typical start, a very good song nevertheless. “Silent Company“ takes a step back and crosses over into faster Melodic Metal, before they dare a pretty unusual and unexpected step and with “Six Ribbons” offers a cover version of a hit from an Australian mini series titled “Against The Wind“, which is simply great! Starting out with acoustic guitar, calm keyboards and Gio Cavaliere’s expressive vocals, it is a kind of Celtic, quite epic ballad that is further elevated by Susie Goritchan’s voice, very strong! Also very well received is the inclusion of acoustic sounds on “Darkened Room“, which this mid-paced track greatly benefits from, just to give way to a double-bass duo that sweeps over us with great power and very good melodies.
The limited DigiPak version also contains two bonus tracks, among them a strong acoustic version of the “Sands Of Time“ hit „Guardian“ (again as duet with cousin Danny Cecati (ex PEGAZUS, now EYEFEAR)), plus a poster, a sticker and a booklet just fort he limited edition with liner notes by the band, they really put some effort in this one.
The crystal clear and powerful production adds to an album that might be played a bit too safe for some, but in my opinion it still is one of the strongest representatives of its kind this year. Despite strong competition BLACK MAJESTY still are firmly lodged on top of the Australian Power Metal throne! (Online September 15, 2005)