Thy Majestie - ShiHuangDi
Scarlet Records
Melodic Power Metal
11 songs (64'30)
Release year: 2012
Thy Majestie, Scarlet Records
Reviewed by Olivier

The sound of Thy Majestie changed a lot throughout the years, and this is something to be expected when what remains in ShiHuangDi from the initial lineup is drummer Claudio Diprima and bassist Dario D'Alessandro. One thing that hasn't changed though is that the band is still specialized in historical conceptual albums. ShiHuangDi deals with the story of emperor Qin Shi Huang, the first who managed to unify the ancient and thoroughly balkanized China. Quite the feat.

You will find this album interesting if you are into newer Dragonland (Astronomy, Under the Grey Banner). Because you will find that this album sometimes basically tries to mimic new Dragonland. Alessio Taormina (ex-Crimson Wind) is not Jonas Heidgert's vocal clone per se, but he is on the same register. Another thing that surprises is how many guitar rhythmic riffs imitate what Symphony X used to do... which would actually be the main difference with Dragonland. Let's not say however that the album does not have a sound of its own, for it would simply be an untruth. First, the production is stellar, and perfectly serves an epic and well-driven story. Second, the overall feel of this album is a bombastic one; it is sometimes melancholic and with a touch of Eastern-Asia melodies, but yet more often in the vein of traditional Italian Symphonic Power Metal. Third, the musicianship is top-notch and you can hear Thy Majestie technically delivering the best they are able to (which is: a lot). And last but not least, fourth, Fabio Lione contributes to one track!

Problem is, nothing stands out. The best experience you can have with this album is listening to it from the beginning to the end, perhaps with the lyrics under your eyes to help getting into the story. Most probably no track will make you want to reach out for this CD, past the first couple of listens. Jeanne d'Arc was a far from perfect album especially on its more technical aspects, but it was filled with amazing and breathtaking highlights which made you want to play it once in a while. ShiHuangDi simply lacks this. It is well produced, well written, well crafted, well sung, well played... but once you have heard it once or twice, there is not this gut-grabbing chorus here and that insane instrumental part there that will make you come back for more. At the end of the day, you will find that in spite of its indisputable and evident beauty, ShiHuangDi lacks a bit of charm.

It should not deter you from checking it out though, especially if you loved previous recent Thy Majestie material. For ShiHuangDi is all the same a very solid and bombastic Power Metal album.

Killing Songs :
The album is meant to be experienced as a whole.
Olivier quoted 79 / 100
Other albums by Thy Majestie that we have reviewed:
Thy Majestie - Dawn reviewed by Erik and quoted 81 / 100
Thy Majestie - Jeanne D'Arc reviewed by Ian and quoted 86 / 100
Thy Majestie - Echoes Of War reviewed by Marty and quoted no quote
Thy Majestie - Hastings 1066 reviewed by Chris and quoted 90 / 100
Thy Majestie - The Lasting Power reviewed by Danny and quoted 78 / 100
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