Released By: NoiseArt Records
Release Date: Out Now!!
Genre: Heavy Metal/ Power Metal
Tarek Maghary – Vocals
Tristan Visser – Guitar
Alex Palma – Bass
Jan Raddatz – Drums
1. Thunder Rider
2. Warlords Of The Sea
3. Anthem Of Glory
4. Make Some Noise
6. Raise The Beast
7. New Era
9. Young And Free (Special Edition Bonus Track)
10. Rebellion Of Steel
11. Metal Union
Every metal band today has been influenced by at least one or two other bands: That’s simply an inevitability that can’t be denied, as no matter how original a band can be, they will almost certainly have been influenced in some way or another by someone that came before. Some bands can show this very subtly while adding their own flair to everything, while others wear their influences on their sleeves, making it extremely obvious who their biggest heroes are. Well, it’s safe to say German band Majesty fall into the latter group, as you only need to listen to any song off their latest album “Thunder Rider” for less than a minute to notice similarities to Manowar, and while I’ve never heard any of their previous work before, from what I’ve read this has always been true of their music. That may immediately turn someone off, or immediately grab someone’s attention, knowing how love/hate the aforementioned American band can be, and as someone who finds their ridiculously cheesy and epic style of metal to be enjoyable, I can say “Thunder Rider” is an extremely fun album with plenty of memorable moments, and not one disappointment.
Anyone who’s heard a Manowar album should have a decent idea of what to expect, as there is certainly a lot of epic, mid-paced heavy metal anthems with ridiculously catchy choruses and often cheerful lyrics. The biggest difference is compared to any album I’ve heard from that group, this one has a lot more power metal to it, with a handful of more up-tempo songs that are still just as epic and silly as the slower songs. As you’d expect based on that description, the album has a very 80’s feel to it, even though the production is up to modern standards, and while the musicianship is very strong and everything sounds excellent, it’s obviously not overly technical nor overly complicated or original. Instead, most songs are very straight-forward and catchy, with the choruses being the highlights, and that’s not a problem for me, because the vocal parts on this album are simply outstanding.
There are no surprises when it comes to the vocals, as Tarek Maghary certainly does a great job in channeling Eric Adams, so you can expect some very epic, mostly lower pitched vocals which are very strong and bring life to all the melodies, which are fantastic. Not surprisingly, there’s also a ton of harmonies throughout the album, and these are also done very well, and as I said above, the vocals all come together especially well during the choruses, and those are all quite spectacular.
The title track is a perfect example of what to expect here, as after a nice opening it becomes a rather slow but very epic heavy metal song, which sounds like it could have easily come from the 80’s, though it has an extra emphasis on the vocal melodies, and it is a very strong beginning to album. It only gets better from there, as next is the much faster “Warlords Of The Sea”, which from the excellent guitar melody at the beginning until the final chorus, is definitely one of the highlights, and it is also one of the heaviest, most energetic songs on the album. Other faster songs include “Metalliator”, “New Era” “Rebellion Of Steel”, and the bonus track “Young And Free”. All of those are very good, but my favorite is probably “New Era”, as Tarek sounds almost identical to Eric Adams on that song, and the chorus is possibly the best on the entire album, which is saying a lot.
On most albums of this type I don’t care so much for the slower songs, but while more traditional songs like “Raise The Beast” and “Make Some Noise” aren’t among my favorites, they are still very enjoyable songs, as there is really nothing here that isn’t very well done. Then there’s songs like “Anthem Of Glory” and “Metal Union”, which even though they are both very slow, they are very solid musically and the choruses are simply so epic I can’t help but love them, especially the former. The lone ballad of the album is “Asteria”, and while it’s as cheesy as ballads can possibly get (which is to say, ridiculously cheesy), it has quickly become one of my favorites just because it’s so silly and so epic, I find it irresistible. Honestly, this is one of those albums where different people will likely have a different favorite song, because the songwriting is very strong throughout, and there’s enough variety that anyone who enjoys this style of epic heavy metal and power metal is pretty much guaranteed to find at least something to their liking.
As much as Majesty seem to pay tribute to their heroes instead of working to distinguish themselves, in Thunder Rider they have made something that is simply too epic and too entertaining for me to be anything less than fully impressed with it. So while this album certainly won’t appeal to everyone, for fans of classic metal who like their music to be fun and ridiculously epic, but especially for fans of Manowar who want to hear something similar, this album is highly recommended.
Written by Travis
Ratings Travis 9/10
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