|Review: Thunderstone - The Burning|
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2003
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: March 21, 2009
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Thunderstone have something of a bad reputation throughout the Power Metal circles. I'm not going to proclaim that these guys as the most original act around – far from it. If you are unfamiliar with Thunderstone, they fall into the Stratovarius/early Sonata Arctica vein of the spectrum; however these guys add a very raunchy touch to their sound. Instead of having a balls-in-a-vice style of vocal delivery, we have the kick ass Pasi Rantanen giving a powerful almost Coverdale-like performance. This guy has a very ballsy style of singing, adding the extra bit of power and conviction to the sound. The Burning sees a slight departure from the absolute Strato-worship of the self-titled debut, although speedsters need not fear – Thunderstone can still run with the best of them.
Slow burning opener "Until We Touch the Burning Sun" eases you into the listening experience, cranking along at a mid pace. "Break the Emotions" is where these guys turn on the ignition and rage across the speakers, with fantastic keyboard work and interstellar drum work. What's really unfortunate about The Burning is that amongst the absolute killer material is some damn weak filler. Tracks such as "Mirror Never Lies" or "Sea of Sorrow" really let down the entire listening experience; I'd strongly recommend skipping these. Doing a complete 360 turn here, this album really excels in phenomenal cuts such as "Tin Star Man", the catchy as hell "Spire", "Side by Side" and the best track Thunderstone ever recorded: "Drawn to the Flame". Pasi Rantanen gives an absolutely scorching performance, hitting immense highs and shaking the earth with his vocal power. Overall this is a good album unfortunately let down by unnecessary filler and in some respects its lack of originality, but don't let that put you off - there are some damn bright diamonds amongst the rough here. Fans of speedy double bass driven Power Metal with fantastic keys and awesome guitars should check this out. To anyone else this is certainly a "try before you buy" job.
Standout Tracks; "Break The Emotions", "Tin Star Man", "Spire", "Side By Side" and "Drawn to the Flame"
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