Hailing from Italy and now signed to Germany's Pure Underground Records, Renegade returns with their fourth album, Thunder Knows No Mercy. Their brand of metal definitely finds it's roots in classic melodic heavy metal, with more than a little weight from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal.
Renegade has solid sound, even rather large. Listening, you would think they would have more than a four members, possibly a fifth as a rhythm guitarist. The riffs and accompanying lead solos form a large part of Renegade's sound. They're heavy, sometimes sharp, but also inform and reinforce the melody in each arrangement. After this element, the rhythm section supports with double bass drum thunder and steady bass guitar groove. Actually, thanks to somebody's skill behind the recording board, the bass line often come through clear and definitive. Last, the vocals are clean and strong, with Stefano Senesi having some screamo tendencies, but never in a torturous ear-piercing sense. If anything, sometimes in the mix, the vocals get overwhelmed by cascade of riffage and thunder of drums.
As for the songs, and without giving too much away, the pace can vary across the album. The title cut and Nobody Lives Forever, for instance, is steady, moving on those churning riffs. Conversely, yet with same monstrous riffs, The Endless Day and The World Is Dying, move with the swiftness of power metal. The latter song is a good example of the clarity of the bass line. With Awaiting The Storm, it's also an example of how Renegade can drop things down, mellow out as it were, around the midpoint, with lighter segues. Mostly, it's lighter guitar over simple drums, with vocal fills. Then, you can catch some of the strength of Senesi's vocals. Later, you catch a little bit of the Maiden / NWoBHM influence with the metal epic Trail of Tears, which seesaws between the power riffs and those smoother segues. Across the album, when he's not laying down his massive riffs, Damiano Ammannati is tearing up the fret board with some tasty, soaring guitar solos. Renegade's Thunder Knows No Mercy has all the elements that make classic heavy metal definitive, entertaining, and happily indefatigable after more than 40 years. Recommended.
Renegade's Thunder Knows No Mercy has all the elements that make classic heavy metal definitive, entertaining, and happily indefatigable after more than 40 years. Recommended.
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