Metal Majesty - This Is Not A Drill

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Lion Music
Catalog Number: LMC 100
Format: CD
Total Time: 70:11:00

It was a tragic loss to the music world when Freddy Mercury died, as not only a great vocalist and performer died, but it also ended Queen as we knew it. Shortly after his death, Made In Heaven was released, the last Queen album with Freddie on vocals ... Then I received a copy of Metal Majesty, an album called This Is Not A Drill. After the first notes I don't know how fast I had to grab the booklet ... could this be possible? No, it can't be ... but still? Is Freddie Mercury not dead? Did they recover a lost recording of him? No, it was none of that. No, Metal Majesty is a project of Valensia, remember, from the hit "Gaia"?

Well, not just Valensia, but also his brother(?) David Clarkson is involved as he plays all drums on the album. But all songs are written and performed by Valensia, and judging by the result, Valensia is not just an extremely versatile musician, but also very skilled as both a composer and sound engineer. OK, when you listen to the album, you have the feeling you are listening top a Queen album. But it is just eerie to hear how similar Valensia's voice is to the late Freddy Mercury! Especially in the opening track "Grim Reeper" all Queen elements are present in a powerful, epic song. I love every second of it! OK, Valensia is no Brian May, but his guitar solo in "Wonderful Life" is impressive nonetheless.

Normally I am not very happy with albums that sound too similar to others (like the latest Time Requiem being way too similar to Symphony X), but in this case I will make an exception, as this is just such an amazing album and the vocal similarities are so much, you really get the feeling Freddy Mercury is singing here. And the whole album is completely over the top, a high speed ride through a land of lush, epic melodic rock.

"Magic Chemistry" is probably the explanation why Valensia made this album, as here he practically applies for the vacant position of Queen vocalist: "You should carry on as a three-piece, or you could put the myth to rest. Hear the voice of your sweet sister: Beautiful bright and clear; The Best!" Hmm ... Brian, Roger, John, if you read this: give this guy a call!!!!

Seriously, this song is directed straight to Brian, Roger and John. And if Valensia is interested in the position, there is no better calling card than this album.

Despite the abundance of Queen references (some even very blatant, like "Symphony In V-Minor," which sounds afwfully similar to "Bohemian Rhapsody"), this is musically and lyrically one of the better releases, with also a lot of commercial potency! So far Valensia's fame is mainly in Japan, but this release might change that and give him world fame, as he deserves it. It is probably his heaviest work to date, but maybe also his best, although I can't really say, as I am not exactly familiar with his previous work.

15 songs that will rock you and make you want to hear more ... well, that is a nice coincidence ... if this isn't enough Queen, check out Valensia's latest release (also through Lion Music): Queen Tribute! That one is released under his own name, so don't let this album slip past you because of the somewhat cheesy name: Metal Majesty rocks and this should be a blind purchase for all fans who love Queen (in their best years) or over the top melodic rock in general.

[This review originally appeared June 2004 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Grim Reeper (5:43) / Metal Majesty (5:36) / The Extra Terrestrial (4:47) / Wonderful Life (5:43) / Magic Chemistry (4:59) / His Highness Hybris (0:49)* / Maiden Head (1:16) / License To Kill (4:22) / Everytime It Rains Again (5:20) / Hope And Glory (5:04) / Deborah (5:22) / The Moon (5:08) / Bulgarian Queen/ Symphony In V-Minor (6:34) / Rock Nor Roll (3:48) / Stars Tonight (5:39)

* on 2004 version; 2005 reissue appears not to

Valensia - guitars, vocals
David Clarkson - drums

Valensia - Valensia (or Gaia in Japan) (1993)
Valensia - The White Album (Japan only)(1994)
Valensia - Kosmos (or Valensia II) (1996)
Valensia - Valencia '98 (or Valensia III) (Japan only) (1998)
V - V (Japan only) (1999)
Valensia - Gaia II (Japan only) (2000)
Valensia - Luna Luna (Japan only) (2001)
Valensia - Valentine Vs Valensia (Japan only) (2002)
Valensia - The Blue Album (2002/2004)
Valensia - Queen Tribute (2003/2004)
This Is Not A Drill (2003/2004)
Valensia - Non Plugged (2004)

Genre: Melodic Rock-AOR

Origin NL

Added: December 6th 2004
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website:
Hits: 651
Language: english


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