Majestic Downfall – …When Dead (Pulverised Records)

Thursday, 9th July 2015
Rating: 8.5/10

As far as one-man projects go, Mexico’s Majestic Downfall are one of the best. Handled by Jacobo Cordova (he of Zombification fame), Majestic Downfall ably combine the domineering doom of early Katatonia and Paradise Lost with full-force traditional death metal elements. While similar combinations have come to roost, the manner in which Majestic Downfall does it is blatantly different. There’s something in the riffs of Cordova (who goes by “Mr. Jacko”) that gives the band its own identity, a trait that rears its head on numerous occasions throughout the band’s excellent fourth album, …When Dead.

Just five songs here, which means there’s plenty to work through with each. In particular “Escape My Thought,” which is a triumphant, maze-running type of number, with Cordova bringing together a handful of no-frills death metal riffs, then a hazy mid-section, topping it off with one of his brightest (or darkest, if you will) melodic ideas to date, which can be found around the 16:00 mark. Clearly, one’s patience will be rewarded. But it’s all part of the grander scheme with Majestic Downfall. Similar action takes place in “The Brick, the Concrete,” which is about 12-minutes long, but unfurls a healthy dose of melodramatic melodies and a lurching tempo.

The occasional run through extremity, as found during the opening plunge on “Doors” simply adds to the collective creative mind-warp that Cordova has created. In essence, the songs here are towering enough for anyone to pick and choose; there’s a wealth of ideas, but none feel like separate entities. Instead, Cordova and Majestic Downfall (he is joined by drummer Alfonso Sanchez, by the way) have emerged with an album comparable to that of their utterly awesome The Blood Dance from 2011. All of this railing, harping, and extoling obviously means one thing: Majestic Downfall are the clear-cut finest death/doom band in Mexico.

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