Nuclear Blast [Release date 04.12.20]
‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens is one of my all-time favourite books and has been adapted for TV and film many times. Now we have Swedish symphonic metal band Majestica giving their take on this seasonal classic, in what is only the band’s second album (although prior to signing to Nuclear Blast they were known as ReinXeed).
Tommy Johansson (who is also a member of Sabaton), is the Majestica main man joined by bassist Chris David, guitarist Alex Oriz and drummer Joel Kollberg, who makes his recording debut with the band on this album.
Tommy states, “A silly dream of mine has ﬁnally come true. For many years I’ve wanted to release a Christmas album, because the atmosphere around Christmas is always so peaceful and the music with clear Christmas theme is always beautiful and very well‐written. The reason why we chose to make a Musical album with the story of Ebenezer Scrooge is very simple – it’s a great story to tell around Christmas and it works so well as a musical. And with the help of different voice actors and singers we made it possible for this to happen and we’re very happy with the result.”
The symphonic arrangements on this album are superb, creating great atmospherics, from choral parts through to passages of traditional Christmas tunes, it is all here and set to maximum. It can sound a little Disney at times and that is meant as a compliment! Certainly if you enjoy the Trans-Siberian Orchestra you will find much to enjoy on here.
‘A Majestic Christmas Theme’ is stupendously pompous in its musical scope, as is the intro piece ‘A Christmas Carol’. This would be a superb album to base a full theatrical live show.
The vocal parts are done with much vigour, highlights being ‘Ghost of Christmas Past’ and the uplifting ‘Christmas Has Come’. Bah humbug to you if these don’t raise a smile and your spirits.
For those who like me may have tired somewhat of symphonic metal this album will reignite your love of the genre. Fantastic fun from start to finish. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 20 December., imbued with a festive flavour to raise the spirits
More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 20 December 2020 and announces the results of the Popular Poll for Best of 2020.
UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 20 December 2020 and includes Pete’s best of the year selections
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