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Majestic Vanguard – Beyond the moon

Rating: 92/100

All melodic metal fans rejoice! You now have another new band to sink your teeth into. Majestic Vanguard hails from Sweden and is a newly signed band to Rivel Records. This very professional release is chock full of music that will appeal to fans of Harmony, Avantasia, Edguy, Thy Majestie, and probably even Sonata Arctica (minus most of the hyper-speed).

When this disc starts, you hear a little bit of a folkish intro and I thought I was getting ready to hear a Elvenking-styled band. But once the first track, "The Great Eternity", gets started you know that this is melodic metal through and through. Majestic Vanguard is a very tight band that dishes out song after song of crunchy riffs, soaring guitar solos, huge choruses, and passionate vocal performances. And they also include acoustic guitars, flute, and very tasteful (and not overdone) keyboards. Keyboards can dominate in some melodic metal bands, but this band is definitely dominated by heavy guitars and powerful vocals.

If you want to do a little comparing between Majestic Vanguard and the bands I listed above, here is what I think. The band beats Harmony due to the fact that they pack a more powerful punch as they are a heavier band. Harmony is maybe a tad too polished and Beyond the Moon, while sporting great production, doesn't sound too "slick". The band beats Thy Majestie due to their better vocals. While Majestic Vanguard doesn't really bring anything new to the table vocally, Thy Majestie's vocals are (in my opinion) what has really kept them from being more well known then they are. While I'd consider Edguy a better band than Majestic Vanguard in some respects, this band may edge them out due to the area of consistency. I can listen to this album all the way through and enjoy every second of it. With Edguy, after a few fabulous songs, I'm dosing off with all the filler. Now Sonata Arctica, they kinda land in a different area of this genre and I would say they have the edge over Majestic Vanguard. But when you look at all the comparisons here, to say that this band is better than Harmony and Thy Majestie, on pretty much even ground with Edguy and Avantasia, and beaten only by Sonata Arctica is saying quite a bit.

Rivel Records has a very talented band that has released an album with great music, stellar production, gorgeous packaging, and quality bold lyrics. I say the future looks bright!

Best Songs: Tracks 2, 3, & 9.

Review By: Matt Morrow