MAJESTIES arrives unexpectedly, comprising members of melodic metal Minnesotan entities OBSEQUIAE and INEXORUM. Vast Reaches Unclaimed is its debut, no demos or fanfare prior to release. Forward, then, we march…

‘In Yearning, Alive’ sets the standard, early DARK TRANQUILLITY, IN FLAMES when they mattered, underrated early work by German force NIGHT IN GALES being reference points, Tanner Anderson clearly enjoying being able to put his mid-range snarl to use in a way he doesn’t (normally) within his other main outlet. From even first listen, the production is sharp when needed, yet polished, almost brought to a glittering sheen simultaneously, a mark of the early and classic forays into melodic death metal when the sub-genre’s foundation was laid.

Far from a one-man show, though, INEXORUM’s Carl Skildum and Matthew Kirkwold lend their guitars and bass respectively, showing themselves vital components of what makes this project so special. Feast your ears on ‘Our Gracious Captors’, the twin leadwork and solid bedrock of the low end both able to be picked out of the mix without toying with the EQ. Recall KING CRIMSON, EL&P, POPOL VUH, how you can choose to focus on one instrument, and not have it diminish the listening experience, but add to it? That’s the feeling here.

‘Across The Neverwhen’ moves at a mid-paced near-trot, leading into the vehemently extravagant ‘Seekers Of The Ineffable’, the threesome wisely positioning its most sinewy, muscular track around the midpoint of the album, where attentions would easily lag. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the tone of the guitars throughout, a corpse-shed cornucopia of harmonies, melodies, all held down – just barely – by an ever-present and locked in rhythm section, the drumkit also manned by Anderson.

After the ravaging ‘City Of Nine Gates’, a tune as genuinely triumphant as you’re likely to come across, even were you to go back and dig up some of the early Gothenburg relics – still as flourishing today as then – we’re reach the ‘Journey’s End’. Climactic as all final tracks should be, and displaying facets of all that came before, but leaving hope for the future of MAJESTIES, let’s hope Vast Reaches Unclaimed is but the beginning of something truly special. Because it has a chance to be.
Review By: Lord Randall

Vast Reaches Unclaimed
20 Buck Spin