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Review: Thundertale - Milžinai

Label: Atra Musica Records
Year released: 2008
Duration: 55:04
Tracks: 12
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: July 29, 2008
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating

Rated 3/5 (60%) (2 Votes)

With a name like Thundertale, I was expecting some kind of over-the-top pompous Heavy Metal outfit à la Manowar singing the praise of metal, but this is more like melodic Heavy/Power tinged with some Folk influences.  Thundertale hail from Lithuania, and it seems like they couldn't settle on a language, so we get a mix of songs sung in their native language and others sung in English - the result is very cool.  Overall this sounds a bit like "happy" German Power Metal mixed with Iron Maiden - galloping riffs meet powerful melodic/anthemic vocals.  The music is very upbeat, mostly positive-sounding and sing-along inducing, but it has its darker moments, a little on the melancholic side but in a folk-ish way.  Most of the songs are very catchy, both musically and vocally - some of the choruses have been stuck in my head for days, such as on "Knights of the Burning Hill" and "Thunder Take Me Away", but even the Lithuanian language songs have that effect, even though I have no idea what is being said, nor how to pronounce most of the words.  This is not only due to the very well done vocal melodies, but the singer's voice is also quite memorable.  The guy sounds great in both languages (well, there might be an accent in English, but not being English-speaking myself, I'm not so good at detecting accents in songs unless the accent is pretty thick, which is not the case here), very good voice in the low and high notes and not overdoing it, always very much in tune with the music.

Folk intro, ballads, rockers and heavier/faster songs are all at the rendez-vous here.  Milžinai is a very addictive mix of modern European-style Power Metal with 80s anthemic Heavy Metal with a hint of Eastern European sounds that give this a little exotic edge (well, I guess it's not so exotic over there. ;))  The mix of Lithuanian and English language songs flows amazingly well, of course it's noticeable, but the switch from one to the other never feels like a break in the mood of the album.  Headbanging, fist in the air, foot tapping and air guitaring are all side effects of repeated listens of this little gem.

Usually I expect metal from Eastern Europe to be Black, Death or Black/Thrash, so it was a surprise not only to find this Heavy/Power band, but also to hear something that sounds so good.  Thundertale have nothing to envy the Heavy and Power Metal band from those genres' more prolific countries, so let's hope this is not the last we hear from them.  Recommended.

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