Thunderstone - Tools Of Destruction - 2005 - Nuclear Blast
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!
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.
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