MAJESTIC – VOZ (58:10, 58:51, 2012, Private)
When this album had been in my CD player for the first time, I thought I was listening to some kind of sampler CD with bands playing in different musical genres. But I was completely wrong. („Far from it“.) I am talking about a band with the name MAJESTIC, and the term „band“ is not really correct, because in principle this is a duo providing an enormously fat sound sometimes reminding me of the Dutch band Ayreon. It is even less, because you can reduce it to one name who’s behind this project: Jeff Hamel. The music this American multi-talent is offering earns my highest respect. Hats off! First of all Hamel is an excellent guitarist, playing varied styles and being a great performer in all these different genres. The keyboards are perfectly fitting – no surprise, because it’s Hamel himself also playing the keys. Next bonus (or asset?): the rhythm is not being programmed, instead there’s an excellent drummer named Mike Kosacek. Moreover, there are four singers being responsible for the vocal parts. Voices are good and another element making this a good album. CD1 starts with a spheric intro and a slight keltic influence – indeed sounding somehow „majestic“. The rest of the CD consists of the title track which is separated into ten sections. Whether you take this song or the complete second CD – the variety of the presented stuff is really impressive. There’s mainstream AOR with catchy melodies, excursions into prog-metal genre, powerful symphonic rock, fusion, psychedelic rock, space rock – you get it all. And it does not sound like pure chaos, in contrast this is put together in a very clever way.
Just as an example: let’s take the song „hyperbole“ from CD 2. At the beginning it reminds me a lot of PORCUPINE TREE, in a later section it sounds completely different, like a new version of an instrumental excursion within the legendary „solar music“ song by German krautrock legend GROBSCHNITT. This is a very colourful and varied album – more of this, please!
Majestic, V.O.Z., 2012
Published January 23, 2013 | By Peter Cox
American musician (guitars and keyboards) Jeff Hamel serves up another tasty bite of what is maybe best described as ambient progressive rock. And it is not that my project Forest Field operates in about the same field, that I like this. No, Jeff has been releasing albums for quite some time now and this double disk shows how accomplished he is. Together with Mike Kosacek on drums and percussion and vocalists David Cagle, Tara Morgan, Chris Hodges and Celine Derval, these two compact disks feature a wide range of songs with a lot of shifts in style and moods. Short songs or epics, all material is as good as it sounds.
And where I sometimes complain that epics feel patched, Hamel´s body of work always is organic and logical. Which is absolutely not the same as predictable. Despite of all the mood shifts and influences I got sucked in right away. The quiet parts are often hauntingly beautiful and send shivers down your spine. And it does not matter if it is instrumental or vocal! Also the more rocking bits still fit the overall feel of the album. It is just as if all this variety takes you on a journey and makes you dream of distant shores (or whatever your favourite destination is) and you just never wanna leave…
So very impressed by this music and I fully recommend it to people into progressive rock and or more ambient sounds.
Arrival Review PDF
Translated via Google.
Mals – 77’32 – USA ’09 Progressive
OD9 e-AW7 make no mistake,
Arrival is the third album from Majestic. This is, unfortunately, the first album, Descension, this group (then) consists of a single man, Jeff Hamel, was recently published as a CD. He had never been so far favors a real pressing and had been offered to the ears of fans of the Majestic project in the form of a CD-R. Third album and therefore slight change of course for Jeff Hamel. Shift because for the first time, Arrival, Jeff indulges without restraint and without direction making music he loves, and it shows in well, let’s immediately. For this third installment, he Deputy longer support a singer, Jessica Rasche, whose vocal qualities, do not hesitate to say, will blend compositions Hamel. Arrival is an album markedly different from its two predecessors. We feel most successful and free of any constraint. The album begins with a very long piece over 22 minutes. Prog fans, you’re already used immediately! Gray is a long composition that flirts between Pink Floyd (with beautiful guitar solos very Gilmouriens) Porcupine Tree (its trippy atmospheres and melancholic) and Ayreon through the beautiful voice of Jessica timbre similar to that of Anneke van Giersbergen and Metal guitar riffs to Lucassen. Gray is followed by two shorter titles, Wish and Glide, the first in Pop-Rock tone, and the second rocked by metal riffs, classic but effective where again, singing Rasche shows the great talent of this artist. The album ends with another long composition more than 36 minutes (really, if you want a concept album, there has to ask), Arrival, the title which gives its name to the album (you will note in passing that if the compositions are long against their securities are concise enough …). Arrival is, I think, what prog should be: a long piece, varied, rich in different atmospheres, jerking breaks, all on complex melodies. One could cite several references to the listening of this title as Pink Floyd, Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, Genesis, Ayreon, Yes, I could go on and best. But what emerges is qu’Arrival is a splendid composition as actually Prog ultimately less. The third test Jeff Hamel is a great achievement that I advise you to listen!
http / / www.majesticsongs.com
This article is translated via Google.
Written by Kemna January 02, 2013
New Album VOZ
Right at the end of 2012 a real surprise with a sublime album from Majestic. After almost 2 years of waiting, this fantastic progressive rock double CD VOZ
But before we go first for all readers and writers, a fantastic swinging musical in 2013 and make it desirable again together something beautiful.Unfortunately, in recent years we are not spoiled with music of the highest quality from the progressive rock angle, but this new Majestic, a band from the U.S., is a class apart in this genre.
Though the announcement over 1 year ago done on the website of the band, it was still a long wait. My first experience with Majestic in 2009 with the CD Arrival. A plate consisting of 4 numbers whose last number Arrival up over 36 minutes. In 2010 this album was followed by a little harder, denser CD Ataraxia. Labyrinth, released in 2011 gave a bit more in the direction the band was unfolding, less firm with more symphonic influences.
And now the new album VOZ A beautiful plate in the Symphonic Rock genre.
The album was produced by Jeff Hamel with a completely new line-up.
Jeff Hamel plays all the guitars and keyboards, Mike Kosacek on drums and percussion. He also has the full line-up of singers replaced by David Cagle, Tara Morgan, Chris Hodges and Celine Derval.
The opening track, In Memory of .. begins with the sound of the old Irish bagpipe which is complemented by a, what looks, full orchestra. A sound that you right on target and will not let go. The first CD is a complete track opus 10 parts. VOZ 1, The New World, makes it clear what the new sound is what the band pursues. The glittered guitar solos and bass Jeff Hamel is truly a treat that is complemented by the beautiful keyboard work.
The song Whispers, one of the best songs on this CD sung by Tara Morgan, is like the jazzy guitar solos, the soft key and drumming merges with the vocals, goosebumps. VOZ VI Freefall opens with fantastic flute followed by eerie keys and guitar playing. A musical switch on the CD that you often hear on records of, for example Genesis. CD2, Zosimos sleeps almost a harpsichord opening with flute and violin. It is a short instrumental interlude before the Action erupts again. Becoming begins on the classic Hammond followed by synths and bombastic drumming, you’re right back on track. The guitar and keyboards work is of high quality, a pleasure to listen to. Hyperbole The song sounds like you’re suddenly at a concert of Rush aanbelandt are. Edged guitars, pounding drums and a booming bass makes you think back to the 70s of Rush. If you are the last notes of this double CD you listened you realize that this is a true magnum opus was. Everything you could wish for, long instrumental solos, strong vocals, powerful drums and screaming guitars to beautiful symphonic synth work, it’s all there. For fans of this genre that Majestic not know, this is a wonderful CD to your collection with to start. And for those who know Majestic, this album really hits all 6 previous albums, a true masterpiece where heart and soul is inserted. This you can not miss.
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2013-01-02 13:30:25
V.O.Z. is the follow-up to Ataraxia from multi-instrumentalist Jeff Hamel and the band he likes to call Majestic. Along with drummer Mike Kosacek and a host of guest singers, V.O.Z. is 2 CDs of sprawling, bombastic prog rock, often times pretty aggressive with some hard rock & metal elements, and at others quite symphonic for all lovers of the ’70s greats.
Plenty of sizzling musicianship to be found here, as Hamel is actually a very good guitar & keyboard player, and the vocals, especially from Tara Morgan, David Cagle, and Celine Derval, are spot on. “VOZ V – Whispers” is especially well done, with Morgan’s angelic vocals soaring over some liquid guitar lines and spacey keys that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on an old Pink Floyd or Camel album.
Though there’s a lot of material to get through here, but it’s all well done and quite enjoyable for all the adventurous prog listeners out there. The 2 CD set comes with full lyrics and catchy artwork, making for an all around nice prog rock package for late 2012.