Almost four years ago the second THY MAJESTIE album “1066 Hastings“ hit me off my socks. The only thing I heard afterwards was that singer Dario Grillo had left the band, which was a pity, as he really fit into the sound. Now the Italians are back with their third epos “Jeanne D’Arc“ and with Giulio Di Gregorio (ex IRENCROS) also with a new singer. But that’s been it with the changes, other than that they have stayed pretty true to themselves and that’s good!
As on the predecessor THY MAJESTIE have taken on a historic concept with “Jeanne D’Arc“, who had led the French into the war against the English in the Hundred Years’ War, then got betrayed by her own ranks and got burned on the pyre, once more they realise this concept with a lot of class and it is good to say that bands still tackle demanding topics!
But on to the music. Of course THY MAJESTIE won’t get rid of the stigma of RHAPSODY being a big role model, but even though the epic atmosphere is a strong element, they are far less overblown than the Triestines. Additionally they put a big emphasis on varied and most of all good song writing, because they never let the bombast take over, instead the guitars always nicely stand high in the sound and contrary to many other bands of this style do not just speed through the songs, but nicely vary tempo and intensity. And the melody lines also make THY MAJESTIE stand out from the gros of colleagues, as they mostly denounce the generic happy melodies, but also convey different feelings.
After the bombastic intro “Revelations“ the Sicilians set out with a lot of power and epicism with “Maiden Of Steel”, very bombastic, with very good vocals and enough variety to keep the attention high, but with “The Chosen“ right after they manage to top it right away, with a bugle at the beginning, then alternating between mid-paced and fast, great melodies, I love this! After the mostly double-bass driven “Ride To Chinon“ and the epic widescreen song “…For Orleans“, where they also step over into slightly progressive waters, THY MAJESTIE have one of the best Power Metal songs of the past few years in the wagon: “Up To The Battle“!
With fat double-bass, epic keyboards and strong guitar runs and great vocals this is a prime example for what epic, powerful Power Metal should sound without sounding clichéd, absolutely great! And the band is not satisfied with having forged these great songs, no, they continue on this high level, be it the intense “The Rise Of A King“ or the great ballad “Time To Die”, before “The Trial” ends the album in a great and bombastic fashion!
In the end THY MAJESTIE have managed to mature further and sound better and more variable than ever and Giulio Di Gregorio makes me forget his predecessor, as he has a more variable voice and can deliver the higher as well as the lower pitches with much intensity. “Jeanne D’Arc“ without a doubt is a highlight of epic Power Metal and raises the bar for this direction for 2006 quite a bit! (Online January 28, 2006)