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Review: Black Majesty - In Your Honour
Black Majesty
In Your Honour

Label: Limb Music Products
Year released: 2010
Duration: 42:55
Tracks: 9
Genre: Power Metal


Review online: June 12, 2010
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.24/5 (84.71%) (17 Votes)

While I might have been a bit harsh on Black Majesty's previous album Tomorrowland, there's no denying that it wasn't the strongest third album a band could put out. Being that it had been so long since we had any new material from this group of Australian power metallers, I didn't know what to expect when I put it on the first time to go work out...

Boom! I was hit by a flying melody, so deft and dense in its rich texture that I was knocked off my feet. What was that? Was it really the opening barrage of melody and power that is "Far Beyond," the first song on In Your Honour? I could hardly believe my ears. It was faster than anything Black Majesty had ever put out, and more entwined with an almost Kamelot-esque complexity to boot. The solos screamed, the guitars crunched and the vocals soared higher than they ever had. Truly, this was a band at their most inspired. And the first part of the album is just a teaser, really – an exercise of their power. "God of War" rocks out with a catchy chorus and some of the slightly progressive flourishes that color many tracks here, and then the heavy, morose "Break These Chains" drops the mood a bit, but is still a really good song.

But then it really gets good. The whole last half of this album in general is stunningly good, a thrill ride of epic proportions that I do not see how anyone could turn down once they hear it once. On their early albums, you could hear this kind of potential in them, but here it just explodes, with more speed and intensity than ever. Every song is short and compact enough to be played on the go, but also emotionally complex and vital sounding than their past works. Every note sounds like they think it might be the last one they'll ever play. It's like they crammed in enough material for any of their previous albums into shorter templates; it's just insane. And headbang-worthy, too, with the kinetic drum work and melodious riffage winding into a veritable hurricane of heavy metal power. What a trip! Some of the more ear-catching moments are in album standouts like the neck-breaking speed of "Further than Insane," the melodic chugging stomp of "End of Time" and the old school riff-fest closer "Witching Hour." Kick ass.

Gio Cavaliere on the vocals is just great, with his accented voice going from a soft Roy Khan-ish croon to a high-flying wail that is as idiosyncratic and identifiable as a Power Metal voice gets – you will know a Black Majesty song when you hear one. It's just the way he sings his lines, the emphasis on certain words, and of course that weird lilt he has to his voice that makes it sound like he has a lisp or something – in the best of ways, I assure you. Some of the best moments here are when the band breaks the frenetic riffing and soloing for a more anthemic, epic chorus section – with some of the best being the one-two punch of the soaring "Wish You Well," which is one of my personal favorites on here, and the most progressive track in "Follow," with its pounding rhythms and huge chorus breaking down walls of complexity and delivering one hell of a song.

So really, everything about In Your Honour is great. The vocals are great, the instrumentation soars, weaves and dives through the boundaries of metal songwriting to create an album that is accessible but still reveals new things every time you listen. Frankly, this is the best album Black Majesty has put out so far, and I still think they can get better. I don't know whose honor the band is defending so valiantly, but they've done a smashing job of it anyway.

More about Black Majesty...
Review: Children of the Abyss (reviewed by Bruno Medeiros)
Review: In Your Honour (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Sands of Time (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Silent Company (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Stargazer (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Stargazer (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Tomorrowland (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Interview with Steve Janevski (Guitar) on December 6, 2003 (Interviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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