Lion Music
Release Date: February 8, 2005

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

As a highly decorated musician/songwriter and mega-successful youth prodigy, Valensia Clarkson delved into the Metal Majesty (MM) project with his brother, a talented drummer, and released This Is Not A Drill in 2004. Critically acclaimed and well received, that debut MM album was called by some “the best album that the band Queen never put out.” Valensia was not only able to replicate the sound and style of Freddie Mercury’s vocals, he and his brother were able to emulate Queen’s musical style to a “T,” which even included mastering Queen’s unique recording style. Shortly thereafter, Valensia took his Queen influences a step further in 2004 by releasing a bona fide Queen tribute album.

With obvious enthusiasm towards the MM project, Valensia looks to continue riding the wave of success by putting together MM’s sophomore release, simply entitled 2005. This time, other than a few Beatles tendencies here and there, MM plays it straight on this album it seems, opting to venture towards establishing their own identity as opposed to piggy-backing off of some other tried and true formula for success.

2005 contains 9 regular tracks and 1 instrumental track. Similar to its predecessor, the true highlight of this CD is Valensia’s guitar playing. He’s crisp, fast, and shows a penchant for being able to incorporate a variety of styles and tricks. In songs like “Love Will Make You Bleed,” “Ready To Roar,” and “Hell Hounds On My Trail,” you’ll encounter as innovative of guitar work as you’ll hear anywhere … but, disappointingly, that’s where the impressive traits of this album end.

None of the songs on 2005 are awful by any stretch of the imagination, but none seem to incorporate the sparkle prevalent in virtually all of the songs of MM’s first album. Each song seems to want to make a statement and leave the listener with a positive impression, but in almost all instances, that “something special” fails to fully develop in 2005. Musically, as mentioned, this album is pretty strong, however, This Is Not A Drill was very successful in developing choruses and lyrical verses that meshed extraordinarily well with the music … 2005 tries, but just can’t seem to get that “hand-in-glove” fit between the lyrics and music. A few times, like in “Aurelia’s Night” and “Alone, Unknown and On My Own,” Valensia comes close to hitting pay dirt, but by and large, the voice and instrument magic chemistry doesn’t exist in MM’s 2nd effort.

Valensia’s initial success as a youngster was not exactly in the Metal genre. MM became Valensia’s manifestation of his love for Hard Rock and his desire to enter the Metal arena. If you haven’t picked up the project’s debut, do yourself a favor by getting your hands on a copy of This Is Not A Drill. This debut, however, was blatantly influenced by the band Queen (a good thing, not a bad thing) … and Valensia pulled it off remarkably. 2005 has no prevalent copycat tendency, rather relying on MM’s own merits to carry the album. The result, unfortunately, is a very average album. So the question that comes to mind is obvious: Can MM thrive when attempting to float in its own boat? Based on the contents of 2005, it appears the world will have to wait for MM’s 3rd release to be able to answer that question with any degree of certainty.

Guitars: A-
Bass: B
Percussion: B
Vocals: C+
Lyrics: B
Recording Quality: B
Originality: B
Overall Rating: C+


  • Dan Skiba

    Dan is a former partner at Metal Express Radio, and also served as a reviewer, photographer and interviewer on occasions. Based out of Indianapolis, USA he was first turned on to Hard Rock music in the mid-1970s when he purchased Deep Purple's Machine Head as his first album. He was immediately enthralled with the powerful guitar sound and pronounced drumbeat, and had to get more! His collection quickly expanded to include as many of Heavy Rock bands of the time that he could get his hands on, such as Ted Nugent, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath, to name just a few.

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