In Your Honour - 2010 Reviews

Posted on 31 May, 2010

Power Metal is a relatively "simple" genre and by that I mean the elements are fairly straightforward: crunchy guitars, keyboards, clean, sometimes ultra-high, vocals and uber-catchy choruses are pretty much all you need. Of course, how you put them together and the songs you build around them is what separates the wheat from the chaff. What Australia's Black Majesty has done on In Your Honour, the band's fourth album, is combine all those elements in a well executed and superbly written package.

In Your Honour kicks off with a Power Metal hallmark, the double-kick opening track "Far Beyond." You'll be singing along by the second chorus. While there are other fast-paced songs, like "Wish You Well," the rest of the album is slightly more mid-paced, yet still quick enough to keep your pulse racing. The opening riffs of "Further Than Insane" and "End of Time" while quite different from one another, are things of beauty. Many Power Metal bands forget that the guitar is, was and always will be the driving force of all Heavy Metal. Not so, Black Majesty. Speaking of the guitar, the lead work of guitarists Steve Janevski and Hanny Mohammed is arresting. A long time has passed since I have heard solos like these that made me want to listen over and over. The solos are part of the song, as much as the riff or chorus. Always making just the right statement and never overstaying their welcome, Janevski's and Mohammed's leads remind me of those classic Priest and Maiden songs, the ones that wouldn't be complete when played live without the exact solo from the record. "Witching Hour," an absolutely killer song, closes In Your Honour in style. Matching the tempo of the opener, "Witching Hour" allows singer John Cavaliere to show off his full range, from a growled mid-range to the upper register.

I almost wasn't sure about In Your Honour at first, because none of the songs jumped out at me (with the exception of "Witching Hour,") but then I realized that is because every song is so damn good. There are no weak tracks, just pure, crunchy, guitar driven Power Metal from start to finish. Even the ballad, "Break These Chains," kicks ass. Run, don't walk, to find In Your Honour and break out the air guitar. You're gonna need it.

The Metal Crypt