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Moshpit Mayhem

Thy Majestie – ShiHuangDi

The long awaited return of Thy  Majestie is finally upon us. After three years the band have followed up 2009’s “Dawn” with ShiHuangDi, an album brimming with confidence and no little technical expertise. The album is based around  the life of the legendary Qin Shi Huang, who became the first emperor of a unified China in 221 BC. However, if you are not one for concept albums then fear not, as these songs also stand up on their own.

Album opener Zhoongguo set the album up nicely with it’s swirling atmospherics before blasting into Seven Reigns, a song that showcases everything good about Thy Majestie. There is the power metal, the symphonic metal, the soaring vocals and the progressive metal that the band have become so well known for. The mix is excellent and allows the band to be centre stage, rather than being swamped by the symphonic parts which can sometimes happen.

Harbinger Of A New Dawn is a guitar led track, Simone Campione’s six strings must have took a hammering during this song as must the skins on the drums of Claudio Diprima. Everything underpinned with the flowing keyboards of Giuseppe Carrubba. The song also boasts a huge sing a long chorus that is instantly memorable. Siblings Of Tian has Celtic influences flowing through it, and they add so much to the track. The song has me wondering what Thin Lizzy would do with a power metal track.

Walls Of The Emperor starts with a true metal riff, before a huge headbanging riff competes with some monumental drumming. Again there are snippets of Celtic metal, and some very impressive Bass playing by Dario D’Alessandro before the track closes with another heavy riff. Under The Same Sky starts off very slowly before the speed metal hits home, the song canters along at a good speed until the band decide to take off on another little journey, where you can hear the progressive elements of the band in full.

Farewell begins with some haunting female vocals before the progressive power metal kicks in, then takes us back down again. The track seems to fight against itself in a good vs evil way, and the winner is the song itself. The instrumental Huanghun ushers in the oriental opening of Ephemeral, a song with an almost call to arms chorus. This is probably the most immediately accessible song on the album, the progressive piece that takes over towards the end of the track really highlights the versatility of the band.

End Of The Days is underpinned once more with some powerful bass playings. Again we have another stadium sized chorus that just has to be a live favourite. Requiem closes the album in an eerie almost haunting fashion, it creates the same atmosphere that Queen’s Bijou did.

If there is any justice then Thy  Majestie should really broaden their fanbase with ShiHuangDi. There is nothing to dislike on this album, nothing that makes you want to turn off the album. A huge mention must go to vocalist Alessio Taormina, in his first album with the band he handles his vocals skillfully and with a great deal of confidence.

If you haven’t heard Thy Majestie then you must give them a listen, you won’t be disappointed.

A sterling 8/10