Thy Majestie music can accurately be described as symphonic progressive power metal with an emphasis on symphonic, dark elements. The band has just released their third studio effort, the oriental themed “ShiHuangDi”, which is a concept album dealing with the life of the legendary Qin Shi Huang, who became the first emperor of a unified China in 221 BC. Qin Shi Huang was the king of the Chinese State of Qin from 246 BC to 221 BC, during the Warring States Period. He became the first emperor of a unified China in 221 BC and was responsible for building the Great Wall of China, which still stands today. He ruled until his death in 210 BC at the age of 49. Not your typical “dungeons and dragons” type subject matter one would expect from an Italian power metal band, but that’s exactly what sets Thy Majestie apart from their fellow countrymen in Rhapsody of Fire, Sound Storm, Vision Divine, Eldritch, etc.
The production on “ShiHuangDi” is immaculate, with elaborate orchestrations, epic choruses, and superb operatic vocals from lead singer Alessio Taormina. The musicianship of Simone Campione (all Guitars and backing vocals), Giuseppe Carrubba (Keyboards), Dario D’alessandro (Bass and backing vocals), and Claudio Diprima (Drums) is top notch and add an Asian element to each song in addition to the symphonic power metal. The Chinese influence isn’t overwhelming, but in nuances throughout the disc, and quite pleasing to the discerning ear of this reviewer. After the short symphonic intro track Zhoongguo the first song Seven Reigns kicks in with bombast and power reminiscent of “Karma-era” Kamelot. The powerful drum work of Diprima powers the fury of Harbinger of a New Dawn, where Taormina’s upper register gets a workout. The headbanging Siblings of Tian is a mid-tempo epic with a touch of folk metal. Chanting vocals signal the driving rhythm of Walls of the Emperor, one of the heaviest tracks on the album. A beautiful female soprano voice permeates throughout the epic operatic splendor of Farewell. The bombastic End of Days features a duet between Taormina and fellow countryman and Rhapsody of Fire/Vision Divine vocalist Fabio Lione with spectacular results. The ending track Requiem brings the album to a close with a blend of Oriental classical music and symphonic piano drenched beauty with Campione’s electric guitar solo wailing at the end. Thy Majestie has not only created a terrific power metal album worthy of standing alongside their Italian peers, but they have also differentiated themselves from the pack with a unique and bold musical statement.