Year of Release: 2002
Label: Nuclear Blast
Catalog Number: NB-1002-2
Total Time: 49:26:00
Here's another Finnish band to add to the pile that is melodic power metal. Thunderstone, a cross between a rockier Stratovarius and rougher Sonata Arctica plus a pinch of almost every other well-known melodic power metal band, have recently released their debut self-titled album.
With an unforgettable cover (yes, it is great and it's by Thomas Ewerhard - Threshold) we have a band that employs a balance of well-worn power metal techniques with fast paced metal, ballads, epic tracks and an all-around nice feel to the album. It really could be the bubblegum conveyor belt that is Top 40 music except it's metal. And it's good, too. When it comes down to it, the songs are fairly basic, employing the song-writing skills of Sonata Arctica with the happy power metal feel of Stratovarius. With the vocal melodies of Pasi Rantanen, you can hear a touch of Timo Kotipelto (Stratovarius) in songs like "World's Cry" and "Will To Power" and a dash of Tony Kakko (Sonata Arctica) in "Life Father, Like Son" which has a very "Wolf & Raven" type vibe. Whilst he doesn't always have the widest range, he can reach high at times but his singing is quite raspy yet melodic and somewhat powerful in a youthful kind of way. I'm looking forward to seeing how he develops from here.
Every song on Thunderstone is a gem and like every other melodic power metal review - there's nothing that you wouldn't have heard before. It just depends on how you view this music. I really like this even though I hear this music so often it's not funny - and I think that says something. Some of the guitar work is really fulfilling although fundamentally basic and reminds me somewhat of chunky guitars on Superior's debut album Behind. The epic "Will TPower" shows maturity beyond their years and is really a highlight of the album - its tempo whilst building is tremendous - but highlights are everywhere.
So, a terrific debut from a band I hope we hear a lot more of. For you originality freaks - stay away. For those who love this stuff - then you'll love this, too.
Similar To: Stratovarius, Sonata Arctica
Released in North America by Nuclear Blast USA
[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
Let The Demons Free (3:59) / Virus (4:49) / World's Cry (4:20) / Me, My Enemy (3:41) / Will To Power (8:33) / Weak (3:10) / Eyes Of A Stranger (5:23) / Like Father, Like Son (5:35) / Voice In A Dream (4:39) / Spread My Wings (5:17)
Pasi Rantanen - vocals
Nino Laurenne - guitar
Titus Hjelm - bass
Mirka Rantanen - drums
Kari Tornack - keyboards
Timo Tolkki - guitar
The Burning (2004)
Tools Of Destruction (2005)
Evolution 4.0 (2007)
Dirt Metal (2009)
Genre: Progressive-Power Metal