I love A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Though I am especially favoring the Muppets movie version, I was absolutely fond of the fact that Swedish power metal band Majestica is going to release their version of the story in form of a metal album. The two released singles, Ghost of Marley and Ghost of Christmas Past, were already very promising. Here is my review of the album, which has been released on 4th December 2020.
Majestica – About The Artists
The roots of Majestica are in Umea, Northern Sweden, in the year 2000. The original band name was ReinXeed, However, the first eight years of the band have not been too productive – the only music recorded under that name were a few demo by founding member Tommy Johansson. In 2008, Johansson met a record company manager and redcorded the first ReinXeed. Johansson did most of the instruments and the vocals, with Jani Sefanovic being the first drummer of the band – even though Matthias Lindgren was named as such on the debut record The Light in 2008. Especially on the drummer side, there have been a couple of changes, so that the current lineup is Johansson with Chris David (bass), Alex Oriz (guitar) and Alfred Fridhagen (drums). ReinXeed overall recorded six records with the 2013 A New World being the latest one.
There has been a hiatus of ReinXeed, when Johansson joined Sabaton in 2016, but in 2019, the three members als Uli Kusch on the drums released Above the Sky, the first album labelled as Majestica. Especially the title track of the album was very successful with 1.4m streams up-to-date on YouTube only.
Majestica – A Christmas Carol – Track by Track
The Christmas Carol includes nine episodes and lasts 41 minutes:
1. A Christmas Carol
Classic instrumentation, a background choir, violin sounds… This 1:44 minute intro just brings you into Christmas atmosphere and A Christmas Carol mood. No lyircs, no guitar.
2. A Christmas Story
Fools around me, the city’s going under
Stealing, begging, poverty and plunder
Poverty and plunder
All these folks they’re nothing but a bother
All of town is
Loud, disturbing, singing for each other
I can’t stand this
Time of Christmas joy and celebration
Leave me be
Ebeneezer Scrooge is the first character who is introduced on the album, but there is also Bob Cratchit and people of the London. This first part of the story is pretty fun, powerful, but also features Christmas music, here Adeste, Fidelis in an instrumental part and later also later with lyrics by the townspeople. Cool start of the album.
3. Ghost Of Marley
The Ghost Of Marley is the second single featured before the album has been released.
[Marley] Tell me why you doubt your senses
[Scrooge] None of this is real, it can not be
[Marley] Now you’re running out of chances
[Scrooge] Spirit tell me more, or leave me be
The track is of course a dialog between Scrooge and Marley. Very powerful and again full of small Christmas references. Fun to listen.
4. Ghost Of Christmas Past
Do I hear Hark! The Angels Sing in here? Majestica connects the classic tune so beautifully with electric guitars and drumming and connects it to Scrooge meeting the first ghost. Superb one – wise choice to release this track first before the album.
5. The Joy Of Christmas
After the powerful first ghost, The Joy of Christmas is a lovely ballad tune, which might even lead to seasonal feelings to those listeners who are not headbangers at heart.
If he only
Knew the feeling
Of coming home to those
That you are holding close
This day is so much more
Than being all alone
I wish the joy of Christmas
I wish the joy would come to you
A lovely solo by Bob Cratchit.
6. Ghost Of Christmas Present
Meeting the Ghost Of Christmas Present is very powerful, but also more melodic than the first spiritual encounter.
7. Ghost Of Christmas To Come
You’re the third… The ghost of Christmas yet to come
Speak to me! Tell me what is to happen to me, to all of us
Very well… Then show me, spirit. Show me what I must see…
Scrroge needs to stand how Mr & Mrs Dilbert and the other town folks speak bad about him. Tiny Tim is dead.
[Spirit] See the grave with a name that describes a pure evil
[Scrooge] I beg of you, show me no more!
[Spirit] This will be you if when the Christmas night is trough you won’t change
[Scrooge] I will change, spirit please let me go
Great, powerful piece. Lovely story narrated. Great work by Majestica.
8. A Christmas Has Come
Bad luck that I limited my recent Christmas song posting to country Christmas tunes – this one has a lot of potential to me as the Christmas song of the year. Likely, there have never been that many jingle bells, that much kitsch, that much mushy music in a metal track. If you release this album in summer, metalheads will likely burn down the Nuklear Blast head office. But it is Christmas time – and Scrooge’s transitition just touches our hearts. What a beauty!
9. A Majestic Christmas Theme
If you need an instrumental festive track, check out this instrumental epilogue, which is again featuring a lot of Christmas classic tunes. Just a nice way to finish off this great album… And Majestica without a single electric guitar riff in here.
Majestica – A Christmas Carol – Spotify
Here is the Spotify widget of the album:
Majestica – A Christmas Carol – My View
Masterpiece meets masterpiece – Charles Dickens simply produced the most beautiful Christmas story ever to me – and Majestica turns it into an amazing small metal theatre beauty. What a great effort by the Swedes, such a lovely atmosphere and a detailed work to combine metal with the songs we all now. Tack sa mycket och god jul, Majestica – you did a great one!
And so it was, that since that day
Ebenezer Scrooge celebrated Christmas in every kind of way
And with the words of Tiny Tim, who’s journey had just begun
“Merry Christmas and god bless us, everyone”
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