It's been sometime since we've heard from Finland's Thunderstone, better than six years. So where have they been? On somewhat of a hiatus after touring for 2009's Dirt Metal. But now they return with their sixth album, Apocalypse Again, reuniting them with original vocalist Pasi Rantanen.
As with many bands with an established history and discography, Thunderstone returns to their melodic heavy/power metal with Pantanen's signature raspy metal vocals. Some simple observations can be made of this album. First, there's the abundance of sharp heavy riffage, enough crushing chords, yet with twin guitar harmony to satisfy your heavy metal thunder. In this sense, Apocalypse Again is strongly guitar-oriented. Blistering solos abound. Yet, that's not enough. Second, you'll notice an adequate keyboard presence. You'll find it leading some songs like Walk Away Free, at least before being conquered by the riffage. You'll also find the synths doing some tag team soloing with the lead guitar as within Veterans Of The Apocalypse or Higher. Or is it, both solos could pass for guitar synths. My hearing in this case isn't that discerning.
Third, with little doubt you can escape the bullet train hauling freight cars piled with stone rumbling speed. Wounds is especially vicious in both riffs and tempo. Yet, amidst all this there's another interesting side to Thunderstone's latest. That's the very catchy rock groove, melody, and vocal harmonies found in several songs including the trio of The Path and Through The Pain, the catchy refrain of the latter is undeniable.
Concluding, Apocalypse Again is a fine return form and previous heavy metal glory for Thunderstone. If you like your power metal guitar-oriented, with sharper, heavier, riffs and solos, yet still tempered by melody, harmony, and appointed keyboards, you will like this album.
Apocalypse Again is a fine return form and previous heavy metal glory for Thunderstone. If you like your power metal guitar-oriented, with sharper, heavier, riffs and solos, yet still tempered by melody, harmony, and appointed keyboards, you will like this album.
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