Demons And Diamonds
10/23/2003 - Review by: Eric Compton
Thunderbolt - Demons And Diamonds 2003 Massacre Records - Reviewed by EC
What a great combination of melodic hooks, intricate arrangements, and a vocalist that treats the material with a true pashion for 80s metal. This is a fabulous release and folks...remember...its their first record! It can only get better.
This album was originally released on the label Soulfood. Massacre Records, in their endless search for the next big metal act, discovered the band and the record and signed them to a three album deal with "Demons And Diamonds" being the first for the label.
When I originally heard samples of this record, I thought Brian Rich from the Danish band Jackal was singing. No dice there, but what we do get is a top notch talent by the name of Tony Johannessen at the helm. This guy really is an amazing vocalist with a wide range and a very memorable and catchy tone to his voice. Think of fellow Norwegian Tony Harnell (TNT) or even another Norwegian by the name of Jeff Hawks (Artch). Get the point?
Traditional metal anthems are abound throughout the record, like the record's scorching opener, "Lidless Eye", with its twin guitar gallop and Steve Harris type bass lines. Try "The Great Walls Of Stone" or "The Murderer's Dream" for a fast paced fury that is along the lines of Steel Prophet and Edguy. This band reaches out and grabs you by the throat, not to hurt or harm you in anyway, only to bring you closer to the magic that Thunderbolt has captured. Other metal acts right now just dont have that.
The production on this instant classic brings to mind Gothenburg based bands like In Flames, Dark Tranquility, and Nightrage, treating tracks like "Enforcer" and "Heartrazor" with respect to the traditionalists, but goes far to embrace today's younger fan that wants the heavy sound.
Perfect songwriting, great melodic vocals, overwhelming melody, over-the-top drums, and a grinding, snarling bass that rages with Maiden fury. These guys have initiative and drive. They achieve in one record what countless bands have strived for their entire careers.
Thanks to bands like Thunderbolt, my Top-10 of the year now holds about 20 titles. Who's complaining.
Favorite cuts-"Lidless Eye", "The Great Walls Of Stone", and "Enforcer"
Highly recommended for fans of Maiden, Steel Prophet, Edguy, and Artch. Get this now!
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