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Majestic Vanguard - Beyond the moon 3.5/5

Reviewed: 12-30-05


1. One journey
2. The great eternity
3. Emotions of a picture
4. Beyond the moon
5. Tears in neverland
6. The angels dance
7. Don't want to be an actor
8. Take me home
9. Footprints
10. Mystic eye

Majestic Vanguard is a new Christian metal band from Sweden that plays a very classy style of melodic power metal. They take their Christian lyrical theme very seriously too, even listing that the purpose of the band is to present Jesus Christ to a fallen mankind. I'm not one of those metal fans who is really into lyrics, but it's good to see (hear) a band focus their lyrics on something. 'Beyond the moon' is Majestic Vanguard's full-length debut, and to be honest, I've really struggled with coming up with some important (in my mind) band comparisons. I had seen the band's sound compared to early Nocturnal Rites, and I somewhat agree with this. But I feel the band is torn in another direction as well, and would describe them more specifically as being somewhere between early Nocturnal Rites and the classy style of At Vance, Ring of Fire, Treasure Land and Stormwind. Majestic Vanguard doesn't have the neo-classical side that these latter listing of bands do, but I really feel this description is quite accurate. Vocally, Peter Sigfridsson's clear voice is similar to the vocalists from these bands as well.

As with a lot of power metal CDs these days, 'Beyond the moon' starts out with a short intro "One journey", which contains some folk elements, but these elements are not really heard on the rest of the CD, with exception of a few brief moments on track 2 "The great eternity" and track 5 "Tears in neverland" (one of the catchiest and best songs on the CD). If the mentioning of folk elements has brought the band Galloglass to mind, know that although the few brief moments do reflect a similarity, Galloglass is much more of an aggressive power metal band than Majestic Vanguard. The guitars have a good deal of bite though, and the CD has a heavy sound with some crunchy parts (track 4 "Beyond the moon" being the best example). There is a good amount of faster songs too; track 3 "Emotions of a picture" immediately comes to mind, as this song (along with the earlier mentioned "Tears in neverland") is a perfect example of a true highlight. Track 7 "Don't want to be an actor" and track 8 "Take me home" have the choruses that stick in your head the most though, so there is little room for average or filler songs with this debut.

This is one of those CDs that really grows stronger after many listens and I could see this band being around for a long time. I surely hope so, as 'Beyond the moon' already surpasses anything that Stormwind and maybe Ring of Fire have offered, equalled the quality of the Treasure Land CDs, and is competitive with the popular At Vance. With such a nice balance of heaviness, melody, speed and great vocals, resulting in a CD with a good amount of excellent songs, this debut is definitely recommended to fans of melodic power metal.




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