......................................THE BAND AND RECORD OF THE MONTH
Progressive Rock & Progressive Metal - Logo
. SEPTEMBER 2009
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Majestic come from Minneapolis, Minnesota, EUA, a Progressive Rock Project fronted by a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jeff Hamel, accompanied by Jessica Rasche, on lead vocals. It's very difficult to classified Jeff Hamel "Majestic" into one single style, his music is so vibrant, epic and atmospheric, full of incredible musical components, combining elements of Progressive Rock, Prog Metal, Symphonic Metal, Neo-Progressive, and Hard Rock, sometimes adding a touch of electronic textures. We can hear wonderful solos of guitar, constantly dominating all arrangements in accordance with an incredible symphonic keyboards and thunderous drums. On vocals, Jessica Rasche sings in a distinctive style that would fit comfortably into the compositions, her voice is so clear and she has a very wide vocal range, sounding between "Tracy Hitchings" - "Landmark", "Robin (Marta Kniewska)" - "Strawberry Fields", "Christina Maria Booth" - "Magenta" and "Rachel Jones" - 'Karnataka". Together, they have created a very strong musical style, that is not so easy to find today, definitely they should have a special attention from all prog rock lovers around the world. "Arrival" is a contemporary progressive rock album with a vibrant and modern sound, the album contains 77:30 minutes, divided into four songs, where all the tracks, offers to the listener an magnificent and vibrant music. So if you are a fan of "Arena", "Genesis", "Porcupine Tree", "Riverside", "Yes", "Magenta", "Mostly Autumn",  "Ayreon" and you like all of them you must get Majestic. Brilliant, fantastic, and amazing work, highly recommendable...

The present line-up of the Majestic Project are:
Jeff Hamel - Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Drums and Percussion
Jessica Rasche - Vocals

MAJESTIC

At 14 yers old, Jeff Hamel picked up his first guitar. He spents his first year or so being mentored by Joey Mazzola (the former guitarist from "Sponge"). In '86, joined by bassist Scott Hamel and drummer Doug Mitchell. They formed a band with the working name "Osmium". They started out playing covers, everything metal in the day such as early "Metallica", "Maiden", "Sabbath", "Zep", etc, etc.... They quickly grew tired of playing covers and started writing their own stuff. They stayed together for about 10 years. They had various singers in and out but they always had difficulty working with singers because their music was quickly becoming more instrumental and progressive. As they played clubs in and about the Detroit area, the band's improvisational and conceptual style always received the best responses from their fans even though most of the local venues at the time was not hip to that sort of thing. Even with current atmosphere at the time the band did surprisingly well and developed a decent following. But as in all in life, things must come to an end. Feeling burned out, the band finally disbanded in the mid 90's.

Also in the early 90's, Jeff Hamel spent 2 years studying recording technologies at the Record Institute of Detroit under the eye of recording titan Robert Dennis. Jeff specialized in midi technologies which at the time was in it's infancy by todays standards. Doing this, he was honored to do an internship at an R&B studio studying music and recording under T. Harold Bowles Jr, son of “Dr Beans” Bowles creator of the Motown Review and writer for Stevie Wonder. During this time period, hard rock and synth was not common by any means. While most hard rock guitar players spent endless hours trying to play faster and meaner than the next guy, here he is learning the keys and blending them with his style of writing. He dos believe it gave hin a large piece of the foundation he has today.

For the next few years, Jeff Hamel took a hiatus from playing music to focus on other things in his life. After that, he started to focus on writing again. He started several side projects by getting musicians of various styles of influence together to see what can be created. Although some projects turned out better than others, He didn't find that perfect sound he envision. Symphonic by nature, the music he leans towards is conceptual, interesting, changing and reflective. Hence, Progressive Rock. 

Since his first old tascam 4-track, He has been putting ideas down on tape so to speak and eventually moving over to digital. Over the years the ideas grow in more mature arrangements. In April 2007 he uploaded his first group of tracks to "Myspace". By summer 07, he had enough tracks to bundle the first release of "Descension" at CD-Baby. Fall/Winter of 2007 after some talking with the awesome folks Andromeda Recordings he wrote "String Theory" for release under their label. Working over the internet he was able to bring in vocalist Di and flutist Elzbieta for that album. During the writing period for ST, russian label MALS - Russian Progressive Rock Label showed interest in my material. After some discussion MALS - Russian Progressive Rock Label re-released "Descension" under their label. 

The way he see it, if the music moves hin, it may move others and that is what it is all about. His journey so far has landed hin in Minneapolis, MN. He will be rotating some samples of his recent work here and sharing his voyage of looking deep inside hinself to articulate what he hear, as well as what he feel. Music if done right can be a story that takes the listener through the mind/heart of the writer. Hopefully, you as the listener, connect with hin if only for a moment and see life how he see it... 

In 2008 he ran across a vocalist name Jessica Rasche and they began working on some new recordings which eventually lead to the "Arrival" CD available as of July 2009.  Jessica Rasche singing since the age of 9 Jessica Rasche has been performing in many different venues including musical productions, choirs, and many collaborations as a singer/lyricist in a broad spectrum of genres. In 2008, Jessica began collaborating with Jeff and the results were so positive, Jessica became the primary vocalist for Majestic. Although new to the progressive music scene, Jessica found the music a perfect match for her background in theater and choir. Being a child of the 80's, Jessica is very influenced by the music of that era, but more notably, she is very strongly influenced by the band "Heart", "Pat Benatar" and "Taylor Dayne". Jessica's debut performance on the "Arrival" album is outstanding and has helped take the music of Majestic to new places, and is a powerful addition to the Majestic project.

Gregg Johns - Multi-Instrumentalist - "Proximal Distance" - Gregg's main project Slychosis has several releases with the latest being Slychedelia. Gregg's passion for progressive rock and metal is only superceded by his ability to perform it. Gregg and Jeff have been working on a side project called Proximal Distance and are also bringing in the talents of Jessica Rasche (vocals) and Jeremy Mitchell (drums and percussion) for the project. Keep checking back for updates on this upcoming supergroup Proximal Distance.

Elzbieta - Flute - "Tonight" / String Theory - Elzbieta has been playing the flute since she was 12. She was classically trained in Poland and enjoys creating different styles of music. She released a CD called "Fairy" and it is available via Elzbieta website.
 

Di - Vocals - "World's Apart" / "String Theory" - DI started singing professionally with a Heart Tribute band out of Chicago called "Beggar's Velvet". In 2006, she decided to branch off into the EDM world. She is now producing music under the names "Essence and Sonus" and will be working on a solo album to come out in the near future on Andromeda Recordings.

New Release

"Arrival"

01) Gray   (22:38) 
02) Wish    (9:12) 
03) Glide    (9:36) 
04) Arrival (36:04) 
.....a. Echo of Spheres 
.....b. Manifest 
.....c. Dawn 

"Arrival" - Released by MALS - Russian Progressive Rock Label in 2009 features the debut performance of
Jessica Rasche. 

Jeff Hamel, Jessica Rasche and Gregg Johns are currently working on a recording project with both members of Majestic and "Slychosis" joining together for a Progressive Rock Project under the working title "Proximal Distance".

To get in contact, listen some MP3s or, If you would like any other information, please visit Majestic's friend via their Myspace site. 

Follow Majestic on Twitter.

For more information and every thing about the band, please visit MAJESTIC HOME PAGEN
 
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