Rating:
7.7
Thy Majestie - ShiHuangDi
25 September 2012


01. Zhongguo
02. Seven Reigns
03. Harbinger Of A New Dawn
04. Siblings Of Tian
05. Walls Of The Emperor
06. Under The Same Sky
07. Farewell
08. Huanghun
09. Ephemeral
10. End Of The Days
11. Requiem


I have to admit, I was rather sceptical when I first picked up Thy Majestie's latest album ShiHuangDi. Not that I am familiar with the band's previous material, but it's just that I saw them labelled as "symphonic power metal" and they come from Italy, which led me to think of the massive block of cheese called Rhapsody Of Fire. However, I gave this album a shot anyway in my quest for some quality power metal, which has become rather difficult in recent years.

Instead of cliff-hangers, let's just say I was pleasantly surprised. ShiHuangDi is still symphonic, but unlike many of its peers, it doesn't let it crowd out the "metal" aspect of the music. As opposed to sounding as bombastic as possible with faux orchestrations, this album is aptly produced and big in its own traditional way - just stomp around with meaty guitars and thudding drums with the keys to back you up rather than washing everything away! That all sounds fine and dandy, but while the whole experience is an enjoyable one and is devoid of cringe inducing cheese moments, the whole album comes across as not being memorable enough. "You haven't spun the album a hundred times!" I hear you cry out. Well, if it's memorable, I'd get the irresistible urge to press the repeat button or listen to it again when I have time (or make time for it), and that urge just didn't come to me.

This album is about the first emperor of ancient China that dates back 2000 years ago, so the lyrics are definitely better than your dragon-slaying-warrior ones, but I really wish the music is more related to the lyrics. As it stands, only the interlude and the ending sounds oriental, and it's such wasted potential because the last track with the Chinese sounding influences is simply beautiful. Now imagine those Chinese touches being fully incorporated into the whole album…

A music fan can only dream, yet for now, ShiHuangDi is what it is, which should be of interest to power metal fans. It won't offer anything new that makes it stand much taller than the rest with the X-factor missing in the mix that would make heads turn. Here's hoping that Thy Majestie can expand further musically next time to offer even the casual fan something to rave about.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 8


Band profile: Thy Majestie
Album: ShiHuangDi


 



Written on 26.10.2012 by
Ag Fox
Ag Fox loves listening to music but is far from being a prolific writer. This corner just shows how territorial he is.
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Susan - 26.10.2012 at 02:40  
Nice review. I agree with you SO FAR... I really, really want to like this album but after the first few spins it's seriously lacking in anything memorable or giving me the urge to hear it again.

The thing is: Thy Majestie has repeatedly offered memorable, top shelf power metal in the past (Hastings 1066 & Jeanne d'Arc are classics and Dawn is a work of fucking ART). They have a new vocalist but I don't think that's the problem here. New guy sounds just fine. It's purely the songwriting that is preventing this from being another special release from this really special band.

I haven't lost hope, though. One day I'll give it a few more spins and see what happens.
R'Vannith - 26.10.2012 at 05:26  
I couldn't agree more, great review. Despite how they keep the "metal" upfront I am finding it an effort to make repeated listens. I think it's a good thing they didn't overuse those Chinese touches but there was more room within which they could have used them, spread them out a bit.
The Shape 1973 - 26.10.2012 at 21:10  
I think you summed it up. There is nothing wrong with them at all, but I can't put my finger on why I don't like them. You are correct, there is no replay factor. Just like their last album Dawn, played once, now gathering dust.
Milena - 27.10.2012 at 01:02  
Written by Susan on 26.10.2012 at 02:40

The thing is: Thy Majestie has repeatedly offered memorable, top shelf power metal in the past (Hastings 1066 & Jeanne d'Arc are classics and Dawn is a work of fucking ART).

Not that I've been specifically LOOKING for new power metal, but anything you label as "top shelf" is certainly worth checking out. Shame that, according to Marshall, they didn't repeat it with this one but hey.
Susan - 27.10.2012 at 01:14  
Written by Milena on 27.10.2012 at 01:02

Written by Susan on 26.10.2012 at 02:40

The thing is: Thy Majestie has repeatedly offered memorable, top shelf power metal in the past (Hastings 1066 & Jeanne d'Arc are classics and Dawn is a work of fucking ART).

Not that I've been specifically LOOKING for new power metal, but anything you label as "top shelf" is certainly worth checking out. Shame that, according to Marshall, they didn't repeat it with this one but hey.


If you're going to try Thy Majestie, don't start with this album. It's really nice but it's a generic-a-thon! They were on an upward spiral with their previous ones. Jeanne d'Arc built on Hastings 1066, and Dawn built on that. Dawn is a shining moment for them. Hopefully next time they'll be able to capture some of that creativity and magic once again.

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