MAJOR DENIAL – Duchess of Sufferings

MAJOR DENIAL – Duchess of Sufferings
Released Year:
1. Illustrious2. Rise with the Dawn3. Immortality4. In Sickness of Lust5. The Chains of Failure6. She Wears Shadows7. The Water's Black8. Agonies of Fear9. Duchess of Sufferings10. Se Ipse Necavit

Probably a bit late to the party given this got out about half a year ago, but didn’t want to skip it just for timing reasons. So, my fellow Greeks prog-metallers, MAJOR DENIAL, made it to their first “big” milestone and last December [2017] their first full-length album saw the light of day.

After releasing their first EP [“Minor Ways”, 2015] and for three tireless years, both Nektarios and Achilles, the band’s masterminds, held a steady course which eventually led to “Duchess of Sufferings”. Given we’re talking about a full-length album, its duration is more than enough for us, listeners, to indulge into ten songs of pure progressive metal with a strong focus on melody and immersive soundscapes.

Many things have changed since the last time we listened to something from MAJOR DENIAL. Mr. Zonder (FATES WARNING, WARLORD) is not around anymore and this time there’s only one vocalist behind the mic. However, “Duchess of Sufferings” does not fall short of diversity when it comes to the music side of things.

If I was asked to describe how the band sounds like in one sentence, that’d be the following: take a dark, very dark version of SHADOW GALLERY, take that wall of keyboards out of them, and add lots of bits from bands like FATES WARNING, EVERGEY and DEAD SOUL TRIBE. Speaking of DEAD SOUL TRIBE at this point, and not that far away, I think I got that PSYCHOTIC WALTZ vibe from a couple of songs, which made me smile for more than a few times.

The album is inspired by Clive Barker’s “Coldheart Canyon” and while listening to it, I felt like “listening” to a mystery/drama movie. You see, it manages to capture that grim and emotional atmosphere you’d expect from such a movie in such a great way. It’s a weird thing to say for a music album, but I feel “Duchess of Sufferings” tells a story by relying more on the music than the lyrics, which is rather unique if you ask me. Another factor that greatly contributes in capturing that grim feeling I mentioned earlier, is the voice of YIANNIS PAPADOPOULOS (BEAST IN BLACK, ex-WARDRUM). Choosing him to “spearhead” the album was a very wise move that worked out seamlessly IMHO. By being such a versatile vocalist, Yiannis’ voice acts like an amplifier of emotions, highlighting the best parts and making the most out the songs in a very smart way.

I could go on and on and get into details about every song in the album, but I don’t think that’s the purpose of a review. I’m just going to say that “Rise With the Dawn”, “She Wears Shadows” (are you able to spot that Psychotic Waltz vibe I was talking about earlier?) and, of course, “Duchess of Sufferings” are among my top picks. “Agonies of Fear” is probably my favourite one. I’d also like to make a special mention of “Se Ipse Necavit”, a beautiful duet between Yiannis and Dutch vocalist LISETTE VAN DE BERG. It’s a very fitting closing remark for such an album.

Finally, I’m going to be honest with you. You’re not going to be blown away the first time you’ll listen to this album. It’s not that kind of record. You need to allow it to grow, session after session, in order to discover the “little moments” that will lead to the bigger picture. I’m almost certain you’ll feel the same excitement as I did while discovering these little “magic” moments.

Forgotten Scroll Fanzing Issue #6

Issue #6 Out Now


Follow Us


CLOVEN HOOF – Heathen Cross

None can describe better the essence of “Heathen Cross” than Lee Payne, founding member (bass) of CLOVEN HOOF and the only one remaining in...

WARLORD: The legend of William J Tsamis lives – Interview and...

To tell you the truth I was a little bit skeptical when I first learned about the Warlord tribute project set by drummer and founding member Mark Zonder and singer Giles Lavery to honor the music and memory of founder guitarist William J Tsamis who unfortunately passed away back in 2021. I was looking at the facts very closely, reading announcements about forthcoming live shows, new line up and a new album. The response from the fans was massive including both positive and negative (or very negative) comments about the above facts. "How can Warlord exist without Bill Tsamis?", they were asking. One afternoon I got a call from Giles Lavery himself asking me if I wanted to do an advance review of the forthcoming Warlord album. I replied positively still being in this skeptical mood. It all went away after the first listen... William J Tsamis was there. His music, his legend, his compositions, evolved into complete songs. In total excitement I texted Giles a single message "Bill is alive". The very next evening found Mark, Giles and I talking about the album, about Bill, about the music and the legacy. It was late at night when we ended the call. I asked them if I can publish our conversation and they got no problem. So here it is again: Me talking with Warlord. The usual stuff I am doing the last 25 years for various reasons. But this time I would not call this conversation an interview. To my eyes this is a big ethical, artistic and soulful statement, by some people who want to keep the Dream, alive.