ALBUM REVIEW: Majesties – Vast Reaches Unclaimed


The Swedish death metal scene, especially the Gothenburg-based one with quintessential names like At the Gates, Entombed, and Dark Tranquility surrounding, is indeed all-around influential; many bands heavily inspired by the Gothenburg death metal scene have emerged throughout the past years. The Minneapolis-bound Majesties is one of the said bands. With members originating from the equally groundbreaking extreme metal acts Obsequiae and Inexorum, there was born a convergence, an allied force between those two acts– which is Majesties who recently have just released their first full-length entitled Vast Reaches Unclaimed, through 20 Buck Spin.

Much to my excitement, the entire production of the album was also done by a team of magic hands that helped build the inherent magnificence of this thirty-nine-minute eclectic sonic madness – mixed and mastered by Adam Tucker (who had previously worked with Ulthar, Thou, and of course Obsequiae) at Signaturetone Recording, and with some touches of photography by Sarah Kirkwold, artwork by Juanjo Castellano (who had previously worked with Gates of Ishtar, The Black Dahlia Murder, and Varathron), and layout by Chimere Noire. What a team, right?


It definitely is no cap when Majesties first proclaimed themselves as a melodic death metal act with Gothenburg-style undertones; they really act upon what they branded themselves as. The album presents a handful of performances along the lines of major key melodies and twin guitar harmonies accompanied by thunderstorm-like blast beats. The vigorous riffs they present erupt in the most erratic way possible, while the anguished Abbath-esque vocals represent pure triumph. Vast Reaches Unclaimed is the kind of record that connoisseurs of bands like In Flames, Eucharist, Oath, Dark Tranquility, and Gates of Ishtar would definitely dig. And even though not necessarily a Gothenburg-based reference, I’d say that I sense some Dissection-type beat elements on this record, too.


The lead single of this record, ‘The World Unseen’, is profoundly associated with an in-depth, enthralling depiction of out-of-body experience where the song envisages how a mind untethered to a physical form flows through the world free of physical constraints. The opening track ‘In Yearning, Alive’ sounds much like a homage cordially dedicated to the zenith of the Gothenburg death metal scene. Still, my personal picks gotta be the vehemently progressive death metal-influenced ‘Across the Neverwhen’, and the double bass-featuring ‘City of Nine Gates’, though. 

The intensity of this mostly fast-paced and vigorous album is beyond transcendental. To me it’s as if the whole gnarly sounds of this album just ethereally represent the vision of Helheim-based blazing incendiaries; these sounds also speak of eternal warfare with our subconscious mind – the kind of sounds that would enchant the rising sun. In my humble opinion, the release of this album is such a perfect way to reminisce the good old days of the ever-legendary Swedish labels Wrong Again Records as well as No Fashion Records.


Buy the album here:


9 / 10