Drawing influence and inspiration from such metal greats as Yngwie Malmsteen, Marty Friedman and Stratovarius, MAJUSTICE are a Japanese/multinational band who are putting the ‘power’ into ‘power metal’. A septet that delivers a sound that’s far bigger than their constituent parts, Ancestral Recall is a foot-on-the-monitor, horns-held-high musical celebration and one that should bring the band some global attention.
There are some albums that immediately grab you by the lapels and give a good shake, and that’s certainly the case with the riff that heralds the arrival opening track Infinite Visions. It’s the stuff that metalhead’s dreams are made of, and when the rest of the band kick in, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to some kind of headbanging heaven. I’m picking up a definite Teutonic influence in the band’s sound, and it’s one that recalls the classic power metal of Blind Guardian, Edguy and Helloween. Full of dizzying guitar solos and soaring vocals (courtesy of Iuri Sanson) Infinite Visions is a song that lifts the listener up on feathered wings and carries you towards some infinitesimal point on the horizon. The interplay between guitarists Jien Takahashi and Kelly Simonz is simply stunning and when you factor in some nifty noodling from Ukrainian keyboardist Vitalij Kuprij (who also plies his trade in Californian progressive metal band Ring Of Fire) you have a song that blurs its colours like a wildly rotating spinning top.
All of the musicians who comprise MAJUSTICE are leaders in their field and the dexterity they display can certainly leave you disorientated, but while much technically proficient metal can be mechanical and sterile, but definitely not the tracks that comprise Ancestral Recall. These songs have the human touch, the anthemic Give It Up would have been a huge hit had it been released in the 1980s while the emotive Dangerous tugs at the heartstrings and leaves you drained at its haunting conclusion. Much of the band’s prowess comes from Sanson’s versatile voice and his impressive range handles both rockers and ballads with equal aplomb. However, this album works best when it throws off the shackles (such as on the high-octane Now Your Turn) and races along at warp speed. Drummer Yosuke Ibuki and bassist Kaz Nakamura create a formidable rhythm section (the latter also playing in Kelly Simonz’s Blind Faith) and ensure that no matter whatever tempo the band play, they always pack a punch.
With only one song clocking in at under four minutes, things tend to veer towards the grandiose, and if you were ever called on an epic quest to save the universe, then this album would provide the perfect soundtrack. Theatrical, emotional and dramatic, Ancestral Recall is everything you’d want from a power metal album and I can’t wait for the next instalment.
Ancestral Recall will be released on the 24th of March 2023 via FC Metal.
1. Infinite Visions
2. Temple Of The Divided World
3. Ancestral Recall
4. You Rock My World
5. Tears Of The Sky
6. New Horizon
7. Give It Up
9. Sonata Black
10. Now Your Turn
11. New Horizon (Alternative Version)
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