Maximum Metal Rating Legend
5 Excellent - Masterpiece. A classic.
4.5-4 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a lacking.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio.
2.5-2 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors.
1.5-1 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible - Waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.
Tools Of Destruction
Nuclear Blast
8/12/2005 - Review by: Ken Pierce
Thunderstone - Tools Of Destruction - 2005 - Nuclear Blast Records

Track Listing
1. Tool Of The Devil
2.Without Wings
3.Liquid Of The Kings
4.I Will Come Again
5.Welcome To The Real
6.The Last Song
7.Another Time
8.Feed The Fire
9.Weight Of The World
10.Land Of Innocence
Thunderstone not only has a fantastic name but also a very solid stand on the Heavy Metal genre. Their sophomore release of "Tools Of Destruction" on Nuclear Blast Records really has some key moments to it. Hailing from Finland a Country that seems to be responsible for most of the worlds Power Metal these days; the group takes a slightly different direction with their music. They did not follow the gruff vocals and intensity of Children Of Bodom or the Operatic Adventures of Nightwish and instead deliver a “Traditionally” styled opus that is full of clean vocals on top of truly solid guitars and drums. There is a fair amount of technical precision displayed in such tunes as “The Last Song” which has a nice keyboard riffs over an impressive double-bass drum run and it just draws you into it. When the song “Without Wings” plays you almost feel like you are listening to Sonata Arctica since it could pass for one of this bands tracks. I felt this record was almost like a safe introduction to the world of Power Metal music and I mean this in the most positive way because this was very user Friendly stuff. Great hooks with a nice vocal mix and easy to remember tunes overall. I think this must have been hard on the band to decide which avenue to follow because their fellow Countrymen have achieved amazing success by testing the limits of the Metal genre and instead Thunderstone decide to stick with a more conventional delivery.

The lineup is Pasi Rantanen – vocals, Nino Laurenne - guitars & backing vocals, Kari Tornack – keyboards, Titus Hjelm - bass & backing vocals, Mirka Rantanen – drums. Each member really seems to show their level of talent on the CD and while I don’t have their first release “The Burning” (also on Nuclear Blast Records) it is most probably a lot more of this type of stuff. Either way I shall be looking into it. There are some other tracks that stood out for me, and “Liquid Of The Kings” is one as well as the slow and trudging “Welcome To The Real”. I found that the more I listened to this CD the more that I felt that Century Media’s Nocturnal Rites are a perfect companion band to this one. Fans of Whitesnake and Dio and even Deep Purple will appreciate this release. It’s a high recommendation for those seeking a familiar style brought to you by a new face. Check it out.

Rating: 7.5/10

--Ken Pierce 08.09.2005

7/7/2005 - Review by: Eric Compton
Thunderstone - Tools Of Destruction - 2005 - Nuclear Blast

Track Listing
1. Tool Of The Devil
2. Without Wings
3. Liquid Of The Kings
4. I Will Come Again
5. Welcome To The Real
6. The Last Song
7. Another Time
8. Feed The Fire
9. Weight Of The World
10. Land Of Innocence
It is just amazing how these power metal bands have all started to change their style a bit, completely wrapped up in that power metal vehicle but at the same time taking that to another level. Bands like Edguy, Masterplan, Helloween, and even recently Godiva had made that unique shift, taking the main priority of the band and wielding a different type of tool with it. While bands like Grave Digger, Paragon, and Rebellion will always stay true to form, carrying on that fine Teutonic speed in grand fashion, these "glossy" power metal bands seem to have grasped a whole new level of existence.

You can look at a band like Thunderstone and realize just what the future holds. In all honesty the debut from Thunderstone was basically just looked at as another Stratovarius clone, just going through all of the hustle and bustle of a Finnish power metal record. Plenty of sharp riffs, catchy melodies, and breakneck pace all served their purpose well, putting Thunderstone on the map of who's who in progressive power. But the band themselves have slowly changed from there to here, with the middle record being the rather speedy yet melodic "The Burning" from last year. From the debut to this new piece of majestic wonder is quite a shape shift, with "Tools Of Destruction" being a smooth, wonderful transition from the rather generic band that existed before.

With this new record Thunderstone carry on that upward mobility, climbing the ladder so to speak in an attempt to reach the same audience as a Jorn or Masterplan. The band keeps a certain power metal physique to their sound, but with this new effort they continue down a more modern hard rock feel. At this point I'm not really sure what you call this sound, with Masterplan really probably being the most popular of this particular sub-genre. I certainly won't call it straight ahead power, nor is it progressive. Hard rock is obviously a key factor in this sound, so I would assume this is some sort of power rock hybrid. Thunderstone takes the very best of bands like Whitesnake, Blue Murder, and TNT, throwing out that little dish of AOR, and combining it with a strong metallic philosophy. At times the band moves and shakes like a true speedster, with cuts like "Tool Of The Devil", "Without Wings", and "Weight Of The World" really carrying on like prime-time Stratovarious. But other tracks just nip and tuck at a hard rock type of pace, that slowed, creeping crawl made famous by the likes of David Coverdale. That big rock sound is injected into "I Will Come Again" and "The Last Song", with vocalist Pasi Rantanen in full hard rock mode for the most part. Favorite cuts for me are the more groove oriented offerings like "Liquid Of The Kings" and "Welcome To The Real".

Nuclear Blast has a real gem on their hands with Thunderstone, a band that continues to climb the ladder of success. With each album the band seems to define themselves, slowly becoming one of the finest of this genre. Fans of this type of work will find plenty to like here, with "Tools Of Destruction" possibly weighing in as one of the leaders of this sound. Truly a monumental effort and one that will find it's way on many top-ten lists this year!

--EC 06.07.05


The Burning
Nuclear Blast
Anthony Burke1/20/2004
Tools Of Destruction
Nuclear Blast
Ken Pierce8/12/2005
Tools Of Destruction
Nuclear Blast
Eric Compton7/7/2005


<< back >>