Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Majestic Downfall - '...When Dead' (Album Review)

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full-Length
Date Released: 06/07/2015
Label: Pulverised Records



“The guitar riffs and melodies throughout the record are excellent. There are clean sections here and there throughout the album and the band makes good use of dynamics. The sound is suitably expansive and the overall effect is of a band striving to produce the most epic and expansive record that they can, while maintaining a common thread throughout.

‘...When Dead’ CD//DD track listing:

1). …When Dead
2). Escape My Thought
3). The Brick, the Concrete
4). Doors
5). The Rain of the Dead

Majestic Downfall is:

Alfonso Sanchez | drums
Jacobo Cordova | vocal, guitars, bass, keyboards, drums

The Review:

Upon reading that Jacob Cordova of Zombiefication was involved in this, I had to hear it. I am glad I did. It is dark, doomy, deathly in places and thoroughly downbeat. The doom laden intro is the shortest thing on here- by many, many minutes- as what follows is a winding path through the pathways of doom/death. “Escape My Thought” is a master-class in melancholy. Elegaic guitar lines mix with some much faster sections as the ghost of early Paradise Lost is conjured up.  At 15 minutes plus, there is a lot to take in- dynamics shift the sound, riffs come in and out and over it all, Cordova's very meaty growl pins the track together. This is indeed majestic stuff- it shifts through the gears effortlessly and has a certain atmosphere to it- cold, damp and dark- that I never thought would have come out of Mexico.

“The Brick, The Concrete” clocking in at over 11 minutes (second shortest song!) is a down tempo trudge through an urban dystopia of greyness. There are time shifts to ring the changes and that sense of melody in some of the guitar passages that lightens the sound to make the track ebb and flow with surprising grace (a hard trick to pull off when writing and playing doom). The track retains a kind of marching feel throughout- almost perpetual forward motion- which I really like. It has a kind of kinetic energy that is sometimes missing from the genre (and blast sections of course).

Doors” starts very weightily indeed- with rolling blasts coming at you while the guitar adds more melody than you expect. The opening verse section has a rather ghostly effect that then evaporates (it returns later, though) into guttural noise before the doom returns. The track is arguably the darkest on the record (which is saying something).  “The Rain of The Dead” is a closing eleven and a half minutes of downcast misery. The guitar riffs and melodies throughout the record are excellent and they continue that on this one. There are clean sections here and there throughout the album and the band makes good use of dynamics. The sound is suitably expansive and the overall effect is of a band striving to produce the most epic and expansive record that they can, while maintaining a common thread throughout. Much of the album verges on funeral doom, but there should be enough deathly elements (check out the riff just after the five minute mark in the closing track) and even classic rock to keep a variety of listeners interested.

I find it remarkable that Cordova can produce the level of quality on display here so soon after the last Zombiefication album; which in itself was superb. Metal needs more people like him- creative, ambitious and talented. More power to him and to this record. Absolutely recommended.


‘…When Dead’ is available here

Band info: Facebook



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