Italian Power Metal, very epical, with really big choirs, so, one can think of RHAPSODY, fantasy lyrics...Who thinks of THY MAJESTIE and a concept album about William the Conqueror and the battle of Hastings in 1066? Maybe nobody until now, but this should change quickly.
The Italian sextet had offered a really tidy debut, with "The Lasting Power", three years ago, and I have to say, that they have benefited in that time because "Hastings 1066" is definitively impressive, at least for me (and this has to mean something because I'm not always impressed if something pleases me!). It's not only that they have chosen a hisorically interesting and never before used theme, no, they have also grown musically and now, they belong to the top of Power Metal.
It's known, that I'm a big fan of RHAPSODY. But it's less known, that I also like the Middle Ages, as well musically as in other cases, and a mixture of both turns out to the best that could happen to me, or not? In any case, it starts with an outstanding intro ("Rerum Memoria") and then it rocks with "The King And The Warrior", which is fast, very melodic, with classical and medieval parts and great choirs, but it sounds not as overacted as at their compatriots.
"The Sight Of Telham Hill" also demonstrates at what a high level compositions and arrangements are, it's introduced medievally and then it turns out to a pretty complexly and dramatically structured breaker with well-introduced, nearly THERION-like choirs, a song, which RHAPSODY would surely like to have on an own record, at least in cause of the pretty medieval melodies, which are repeated again and again throughout the song.
"The Scream Of Tailleter" has a comparable atmosphere, a little bit less Power Metal but it works with similar elements, and there is also the calm (but not balladesc) "Anger Of Fate", the shorter, jauntier "Through The Bridge Of Spears" and the well-finishing "Demons Of The Crown", which reminds me of CROWN OF AUTUMN with its guitars, these are all impressive arguments that you have to take THY MAJESTIE seriously and that they have the right to exist right besides RHAPSODY.
To emphasize also are the really good vocals of Dario Grillo, who shows a great performance together with the Teatro Massimo Choir from Palermo, and he truly sounds not like all the others, to emphasize is also the very good production of the Outer Sound Studios, which made "Hastings 1066" to ear treat for every Metal gourmet.
Such Power Metal makes a lot of fun, it's independent, diversified, great! (Online October 21, 2002)