On December 4th, 2020, the power metal band Majestica released their Christmas album “A Christmas Carol” on the label Nuclear Blast Records. The nine songs are a musical version of Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol”.
The four members of the band are Tommy Johansson on guitar and vocals, Alex Oriz on guitar, Chris David on bass and Joel Kollberg on drums. In 2019, the Swedish metal band released their successful debut album “Above The Sky”. Their second album “A Christmas Carol” is very special, as it is a “Christmas musical power metal album”. The music is typical for Majestica. It is pure symphonic power metal that includes elements inspired by the likes of Twilight Force, Rhapsody, Alan Silvestri, Danny Elfman and John Williams.
Charles Dickens: “A Christmas Carol”
The music includes sections of of well‐known Christmas songs. The story is the well‐known story of Ebenezer Scrooge from Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol”. It is told in different voices for the many characters, accompanied by power metal music. So we basically have a power metal Christmas musical.
The idea was a silly dream that frontman Tommy Johansson had had in mind for years. The band added more symphonic parts and orchestral instruments to their power metal style to fit the Christmas atmosphere and tell the story of Ebenezer Scrooge.
Johannson’s vocals are similar to Michael Kiske, Tobias Sammet and Sebastian Bach. The other band members and guests from bands such as Veonity and Hot Beef Injection provide the other vocal parts. Underground artist Madeleine Andersson created the artwork. She previously created some fan art for Twilight Force. Johannson knew that she was the right artist to capture the dark, cold ghost‐like feeling of the story and the album.
The album is also the first album to feature drummer Joel Kollberg (Veonity). On the previous album “Above The Sky”, drummer Uli Kusch (ex‐Helloween, ex‐Gamma Ray, ex‐Masterplan) could be heard. “A Christmas Carol” was recorded at Nygård, Ekshärad. Jonas Kjellgren (Scar Symmetry, Raubtier) mixed and mastered the album at Black Lounge Studios.
The whole album is very theatrical. The story is told by the different characters. “Ghost of Marley” for example is the well-known conversation between Scrooge and Jacob Marley (sung by bassist Chris David). The power metal music has quite challenging passages with changes in tempo and style.
Although the idea might seem a bit strange, it works (if you like this kind of music). The approach to Dickens’s story is new and interesting. The band play and sing really well and know how to turn it into a metal musical.
In between the heavy music, there is also a ballad. In “The Joy of Christmas”, Bob Cratchit shares his thoughts and feelings.
All in all, this is a well-written and well-performed Christmas metal musical and a slightly different, but very interesting retelling of Dickens’s famous Christmas Carol.