1/20/2004 - Review by: Anthony Burke
Thunderstone - The Burning 2004 Nuclear Blast Records - Reviewed by IcedMojo
This melodic power metal band, formed in 2000 by guitarist Nino Laurenne (former Antidote singer and guitarist), started as nothing more than just a one man side project and later, with the additions of Pasi Rantanen (Vocals),Mirka "Leka" Rantanen (Drums), Kari Tornack (Keyboards), and Titus Hjelm (Bass & Backing Vocals), the Thunderstone of today was born.
“The Burning” marks the band's second release through Nuclear Blast, with whom they signed in late 2001. With a kickback sound of the eighties, it is obvious that Thunderstone has not forgotten the sound that brought metal to the dance. With songs such as “Mirror Never Lies”, “Evil Within” and “Side By Side”, the band sounds like a heavier version of the 70's band “Yes”. Keeping with the melodic aspect, there comes a slow, soft ballad. A glorious mix of keyboards, guitars, orchestra interludes, and a vocal effort of sheer emotion, “Sea Of Sorrow” uses a sound that is a mixture as such hits like “November Rain” by Guns N Roses, “Beth” by Kiss, and “Bed Of Roses” by Bon Jovi. “Fade Into Black” portrays the darker side of this group. Vocals that resemble the great Ronnie James Dio and musical talents resembling Nightwish, Stratovarius, or Rhapsody, this is a Thunderstone that is sure to please.
On a side note, the fist Thunderstone demo featured Nino Laurenne as lead vocalist. Titus Hjelm was bassist on that demo and a former band mate with Nino in Antidote. That demo was released in 3 song demo was released in 2000 with all the band members except Kari Tornack, who was added in 2001 before recording a new 3 song demo which helped them become signed by Nuclear Blast.
My personal rating on this is a 9/10. I love Stratovarius, Nightwish, and Savatage. These are all bands they tend to resemble. The eighties kick back is a definite plus. The album I think is a metal masterpiece. Production I think is wonderful. The musicianship is right up my alley, the song writing strayed a little from greatness but that fact can be looked past. The cover art is mediocre but the booklet is very interesting. Borderline, a perfect album (best album so far of 2004, but this is only January)
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