One of the great things about the Italian underground music scene is that it's a breeding ground for hard rock and heavy metal, crossing many genres. Another good thing is that there's an abundance of labels, from small, yet with some international reach, like My Graveyard Productions, that are willing to sign a new band. Enter Bergamo's Thunder Axe. They've been plugging away at their craft for better than a decade. After 12 years, a short demo in 2005, they now release their first album, Grinding the Steel.
Thunder Axe wears their influences on the collective sleeves of their concert t-shirts. With no apologies, their metal is plainly classic heavy metal, straight Eighties with all the hints of the NWOBHM in it's various forms. Honestly, while still derivative, this band has some talent and passion for their craft.
One of the best strengths of Thunder Axe comes from the twin guitar work of Dario Pasinetti and Steve Zambelli, whose guitar riffs and solos are the centerpiece of most every song. There approach is basic: offer steely precision, and then light up the fret board with some classic metal licks. Some of the best tracks for their fireworks include Iron Will, Golden Cage, A Story to Tell, and Sinking into the Past. Of course, no matter of guitar wizardry would be good in any band or song without a good rhythm section. Again, the Thunder Axe approach is simple with a strong and steady rhythm section which keeps the paces and the groove. Conversely, vocalist Renato Forzo's delivery can be a bit wanting. He definitely has the strength and passion to be a metal singer, but he's simply not all that smooth and clear. This comes through on their ballad With Your Eyes. Alternatively, Grinding the Steel has unusually good production for an obscure band on a rather small independent label. Whoever twisted the knobs did a fine job with the mix.
While Thunder Axe may never rise to recognition level of the metal legends they emulate, they are a very good band doing what they love, classic heavy metal. Recommended.
While Thunder Axe may never rise to recognition level of the metal legends they emulate, they are a very good band doing what they love, classic heavy metal.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]