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Having read about Majesty being a true metal band strongly influenced by Manowar, I felt tempted to check these guys out. I also gave them quite a bit of credit because their frontman, Tarek, is one of the guys behind Germany's über-cool Keep It True festival where underground metal legends like Omen, Sentinel Beast, and Sacrifice have performed. And hey, a cd called "Hellforces" can't be bad, now can it?
Boy, was I wrong. To be quite blunt, this cd just sounds so cheesy, happy, and predictable that even Hammerfall would have chucked it in the bin for being too average and too commercial. I suppose teenage boys and girls growing tired of mainstream pop music would appreciate this and think this is hard 'n' heavy, but long time, die-hard heavy metal fans would not touch this album with a 10 foot pole. Just listen to the chorus of "March for Victory" and the hairs on your neck will stand up. "Freedom Heart" is even worse as it is gayer than any George Michael song. This has to be heard to be believed. Anyone want to have a sing along?
Is there nothing positive to say about this album? Well, actually there is. The musicianship isn't bad at all and neither are the vocals. The production of "Hellforces", courtesy of Stefan Kaufmann, is also quite alright and sounds heavy and crisp. If only Majesty would have written some actual heavy metal songs for this cd!
I am not sure if this album was just a slip up and the other Majesty albums are actually good, but after hearing "Hellforces", I really don't feel like checking them out.
Majesty is back, and if you can’t stand the smell of cheese, walk back the same way you came. It’s no secret that Majesty aspires to be the new Manowar, having songs either about the greatness of heavy metal or warriors and their struggles. Hellforces is at least better than Reign in Glory, which pretty much was pressed on old, hardened but still stinking Roquefort cheese. Screaming “Epic War, Epic War” is a tad too much.
The music is traditional Majesty, which is best described as Manowar’s Warriors of the World United with keyboards, if a wee bit more melodic and groovy this time, taking half a step on their own away from the idols. It’s rockier and it has better solos than last time, and Tarek’s voice is stronger than last time. All these new attributes are present in the best song, Dance With the Demon, but the other anthems have got their fair share too.
With Hellforces, Majesty proves to be more varied and having more influences than we ever thought. Well they’re still cheesy and bombastic, nothing to do about it, but Hellforces has small, small Painkiller influences, and Tarek sounds a lot like Halford when pronouncing “erupting”. Another new influence is Accept, which presents itself through the song Like a Raptor, the fact that Stefan Kaufmann produced Hellforces and that Udo Dirkschneider does guest vocals on Metal Law 2006.
I’m partial to Guardians of the Dragon Call, as it starts just like the average fast power metal band and the lyrics about dragons aren’t far from Rhapsody’s. The slower parts sound more like Majesty, and are more successful. In the slowest part they experiment with pretty female vocals, and with such a short duration it only seems unnecessary. Nowhere Man seems to have a very unexpected source of inspiration, the Finns in Lordi! Next time I wouldn’t mind if they focused more on their own sound.
Overall it was a wise step for Majesty to distance themselves from Manowar, and Hellforces is definitely a positive step up from Reign in Glory. I suppose this is their most commercial album so far and if they only tried writing lyrics about other themes, they might get a wider audience. Former Majesty-fans shouldn’t be frightened by the newfound commercialism; Majesty has made one more solid and crowd-pleasing record with only a few fillers.