A Sound Of Thunder - It Was Metal

11 songs
58:08 minutes
***** ****


Ten years ago, A Sound Of Thunder from the American capital city Washington DC has been founded, and in that time they have been anything but lazy. It Was Metal is already their seventh longplayer, although one of their records consisted only of cover versions. Besides that, they also released three EPs. Their previous album Tales From The Deadside has me somewhat disappointed, as it was darker and more atmospheric than their earlier material. I may not have been the only one with that conviction, because on the new album, they have on most tracks found their way back to their roots.

This is obvious already on the opener Phantom Flight where the meanwhile sixty-four-year-old Accept singer Mark Tornillo adds some vocal parts. This is a fast track that has everything a traditional heavy metal song is supposed to have. Nina Oseguedaís strong voice matches well with the hoarser voice of Mark Tornillo, and towards the end of the song we get the impression as if the two are duelling each other. The following Lifebringer is more rock than metal, yet still quite powerful and later surprising even with progressive and psychedelic structures. All in all, It Was Metal is harder than its predecessor and goes back to the quality level of the bandís earlier years. And still there are some surprises to be found here. The title track and its intro play around with bluegrass and Southern rock. Obsidian & Gold is at ten minutes a really long track, with Tony Carey who used to play with Rainbow and Zed Yago adding some guest keyboard parts. This epic track comes with many twists and turns, turning from a semi-ballad into a heavy rock and then retro rock piece, with a Hammond organ reminding of Deep Purple. Itís good to hear that A Sound Of Thunder are mature enough to write such long songs without any boring parts. It must also be mentionned that Ninaís vocal performances become more professional by the year. She is able to go to quite some extremes without giving the impression that she is straining herself much. In fact it all sounds like a natural delivery.

Nina Osegueda also has family roots in Spain and El Salvador, and even though the band that has been named after a short story by Ray Bradbury usually has fantasy and science fiction related lyrics, they have this time chosen a more personal topic. Segadors (The Reapers) is a song about the Catalansí fight for independence, which may feel a little strange for listeners from the European Union. It should be reminded that Spain is a democracy and that an independent Catalonia would have a hard time without all the advantages (open borders, free trade, single market currency,...) that the European Union gives its members. Atlacatl is a song about a folk hero from El Salvador. The CD will be accompanied by an excusive graphic novel that should encourage people to purchase the physical product instead of just the digital version.

A Sound Of Thunder have found back to their right path with It Was Metal. The lyrics of their Catalan song donít agree with my persuasion, and donít really fit with the previous image of the band. But their music is faster, heavier and more traditional again, just like their hardcore fans would have hoped for. It should also be noted that the album was financed by a Kickstarter campaign that collected over $66.000, a new record for a heavy metal band!

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