Majestic, brainchild of Jeff Hamel (guitars and keyboards), is rapidly becoming a regular feature here. Check the link for part one. And no, I do not mind at all. So if you like your music adventurous, built around concepts, don’t mind short to long tracks where not only the vocals shine (but keyboards and guitars as well), maybe you like this too!
Because Jeff has done it again. With him are Mike Kosacek on drums and singers Chris Hodges, Jessica Rasche and David Cagle. As before, this is progressive metal that crosses boundaries with metal, rock and even ambient / new age typed music. Always good for a surprise, the 9 tracks here are more proof that prog can be both entertaining and challenging. From light to dark, from soft to heavy, all trademarks check. Okay, if this is not your thing, stop reading and play something else. For those still here, a lot of fine moments with strong melodies and musicianship on offer here. You listen to the middle section of The River and say this does not touch you, I dare you!
People like Jeff lay their all in this and deserve your support. No big company behind this, just some crazy people doing what they love… Hats off sir!
American musician (guitars and keyboards) Jeff Hamel serves up another tasty bite of what is maybe best described as ambient progressive rock. And it is not that my project Forest Field operates in about the same field, that I like this. No, Jeff has been releasing albums for quite some time now and this double disk shows how accomplished he is. Together with Mike Kosacek on drums and percussion and vocalists David Cagle, Tara Morgan, Chris Hodges and Celine Derval, these two compact disks feature a wide range of songs with a lot of shifts in style and moods. Short songs or epics, all material is as good as it sounds.
And where I sometimes complain that epics feel patched, Hamel´s body of work always is organic and logical. Which is absolutely not the same as predictable. Despite of all the mood shifts and influences I got sucked in right away. The quiet parts are often hauntingly beautiful and send shivers down your spine. And it does not matter if it is instrumental or vocal! Also the more rocking bits still fit the overall feel of the album. It is just as if all this variety takes you on a journey and makes you dream of distant shores (or whatever your favourite destination is) and you just never wanna leave…
So very impressed by this music and I fully recommend it to people into progressive rock and or more ambient sounds.