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Majesty: Before the downfall

07/02/12  ||  Habakuk

Hmmm, where to place this. A bootleg of demos which has historical value but was just (re-)released… It just goes into reviews. So what kind of drugs am I on here? Majesty is a power metal band, right? Nothing classic about that!

True true, my fellow death metal aficionado. But it’s not that Majesty, as you might have guessed from the a bit too crappy cover with a few unicorns short, WATSON. This is the Majesty that later became Nausea – who? Nausea, Inspector, which later had a good deal of overspill into Terrorizer, as both bands rehearsed together. The direct link from Majesty/Nausea to Terrorizer was singer Oscar Garcia, as you remember from the dossier. And I guess here we have the bootlegger’s motive to name this LP “Before the downfall”.

The LP (yep, no CD release, only 100 kvltest LP copies) contains two demos, “Bestial Vomit” and “Demo II”, which form the complete recorded works of this pre-grind incarnation. 10 songs, two of which have titles that made it onto later releases: “Enemy Alliance” (see Nausea’s Crime against humanity) and “World downfall” (duh) – now if you hope to get super-early recorded version of Terrorizer’s landmark album – forget about it. There are no riffs that survived, there are no blastbeats (somewhat integral for Terrorizer) and not even the lyrics made it over. Supposedly, there were no lyrics in Majesty, so said Jesse Pintado. Once we complete the puzzle with Terrorizer’s Nightmares demo though, the logical progression from Majesty to “World Downfall” is more than clear. Terrorizer basically took the formula and upped the ante more and more, while the overall feel survived. This isn’t only relevant because of its connection to a big name, this shit is really fucken good in its own right. The guys in Asphyx knew that, by the way, and on their 2011 split with Thanatos covered Bestial vomit.

Majesty’s recordings totally have the feeling of kids playing in a sandbox. It’s muddy and filthy, it’s not especially thought out, but in the end there’s some sort of pleasant result and everybody’s happy. Every song here starts with a thick layer of white noise, but what comes next is the most hellish, dirtiest guitar crunch you can experience on record. Add groovy, rumbling cardboard drums and Garcia’s hatefilled vocals, both of which sound like they were recorded in the room next door, and a good deal of bass frequency, and you have a more or less complete picture of the sound. Plus a few distortions that derive from ripping old tapes. Yep, this feels like a total wallow in the mire, but miraculously, nothing (oh well, a few solos) is lost in the mix.

The riffs are mindblowingly good in their simplicity, especially on the first half/demo, which almost has an old school Hellhammer feel using the same umpa-dumpa drumming – just ten times grittier, bass-heavier and with less Ugh!. The songtitles here (à la “Desecration of Ghouls”) definitely still nod towards that early melange of black, death and thrash metal, but hell, who didn’t rip off Possessed at the time? The second half of the disc moves more towards pairing all those elements with a good bit of crust, an intense, primeval groove and generally tight musicianship. Riff-wise, imagine a prototype incarnation of Terrorizer’s “Dead Shall Rise”. And you know where all this takes us – old school heaven, pretty much.

I might be romanticizing here, but this reeks of basement rehearsal rooms, sweaty gigs, adolescence and so much general not-giving-a-fuck-ness that I just can’t help it and compulsively put these songs in my heavy rotation. Seriously, when listening to this, it just seems absurd where the whole metal thing has come to. Sure, I’m not the one to judge it, I clearly wasn’t there, but this feels like the real shit. Four guys tearing the place to pieces and having a fucken blast. Pure audio gold.

8.5

  • Information
  • Released: 2011
  • Label: Independent
  • Website: Majesty on Metal Archives
  • Band
  • Oscar Garcia: guitars, vocals
  • Cosmo: bass, vocals
  • Eric: drums
  • Tracklist
  • 01. Annihilation
  • 02. Enemy alliance
  • 03. Maggots
  • 04. Desecration of ghouls
  • 05. Bestial vomit
  • 06. Bloodshed
  • 07. Self fear
  • 08. Awaken from the grave
  • 09. World downfall
  • 10. Predator