In a surprising announcement, Judicator has lost two key members of the band. Drummer Jordy Elcess and Guitarist Balmore Lemus, have exited the band, amicably. You can read statements from each former member and the band below. Replacements will be announced next week. The band just released the acclaimed new album The Majesty of Decay (Prosthetic), and you can read our review here.
When one thinks about the Power Metal genre, several European bands might come to mind. There are the greats like Blind Guardian, Helloween, and Rhapsody of Fire that have carried this grandiose genre for many years. Yet things are beginning to change. A fresh take on speed, symphony, and big vocals is occurring in North America and Judicator is one of the bands making it happen. They have been around for ten years and are getting ready to release their sixth full-length, The Majesty of Decay (Prosthetic Records). Even with a handful of lineup changes over the past decade, the sound that made people’s ears perk is still there. Known for writing about historical events and people, this new release is a concept album that takes on a much darker theme.
Project: Roenwolfe occupies a prime position in one of the Heavy Metal world’s more overlooked niches. Their Power/Thrash Metal fusion provides a trifecta of melodicism, intricacy, and aggression that is most directly in line with Iron Savior while also triggering associations with Helstar and Heathen, among others. Edge Of Saturn (Divebomb Records) is their first album since they debuted with 2013’s Nightmare Dreamscape. And as expected, there have been some upgrades in that eight-year timeframe.
Every decade has its own set of trends that define it. It normally takes hindsight to see what will make a particular decade stand out but 2020 has already made a horrifyingly immediate distinction for itself. A pandemic-induced alteration of the scene itself has resulted in delayed releases, canceled tours, musicians at near equal ratios of inspiration and burnout, Zoom as a primary means of communication, and livestreams taking the place of proper concerts. All things considered, I am glad that a top albums list could still be made with a multitude of strong candidates. It’s been a shitty year with the light at the end of the tunnel still out of sight, but we still got tunes.
While Judicator’s fifth full-length offers their signature brand of historically themed Power/Prog Metal, it comes at a more personal angle this time around. The story of Let There Be Nothing (Prosthetic Records) is based on the life of Belisarius, a 6th century Byzantine general who reclaimed remnants of the Western Roman Empire while wrestling with a crippling marriage. The album never quite reaches the catharsis of 2015’s At The Expense Of Humanity, but it’s nice to see their Blind Guardian worship be tempered with a little extra pathos.Continue reading →