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A Sound of Thunder – Parallel Eternity Award winner

A Sound of Thunder
Parallel Eternity
by Leanne Evans at 06 February 2021, 6:35 PM

A SOUND OF THUNDER is a power metal quartet founded in Washington DC in 2008 by drummer Chris Haren and guitarist Josh Schwartz. The band has gone from strength to strength, with vocalist Nina Osegueda joining in 2009 and bass player Jesse Keen in 2010.
The album “Parallel Eternity” is a retrospective collection of A SOUND OF THUNDER’s works over the past 12 years, re-recorded and, for the first time, with the band collaborating with composer Brad Charles, of Magic Giraffe Soundworks, to bring us something VERY special to enjoy.

The album crashes open with the grandiose “A Sound of Thunder” and is packed-full of atmospheric orchestrations, especially the first couple of minutes which give way to a literal overture, creating an epic atmosphere, especially when the organ drives through with its dramatic chords. As the guitars kick in with their uplifting riffs, Nina belts out the vocals and Chris pounds through with boundless energy on the drums. Such a wonderfully grandiloquent opening to the album!

The album continues with a very similar textural approach until “Discovery”, a song from the band’s early years, where the focal point is very much on Josh and Jesse’s phenomenal guitar playing abilities. The majority of the track is crammed with sweet guitar solos, harmonious riffs and infectious hooks. It really is a wonderful piece and Nina thrusts her voice into the track sporadically, powering out the profound lyrics to add to the introspective thematic of the song.

Throughout “Parallel Eternity”, we see the innate ability A SOUND OF THUNDER has for being able to convey powerful messages through their music. The track “Els Segadors” is no exception and is an outstanding musical masterpiece and gets a firm 10/10 from me. The song is the anthem of Catalonia and, since Nina’s mother is Catalan, she wanted to create a song to honour her and additionally highlight the Catalan plight of independence. A SOUND OF THUNDER poured their souls, every ounce of their being and squeezed every bit of emotion possible into this track, producing a fitting tribute to the enduring sufferance of the Catalan people. The beautifully mellow intro of the softly plucked harp morphing to the energetic orchestral piece. The quick nod to the dissonant chords and swift switch to harmonious riffs. The marching beat that drives up to the galloping tempo. Nina’s powerful yet euphonious voice. Every drop of this track is absolutely electrifying and creates goosebumps from the second it starts. The quartet create the most impassioned piece I have ever heard and I’m not ashamed to say I wept listening to this magnificent track; it’s incredibly emotive and I implore you to listen to it and tell me otherwise.

A SOUND OF THUNDER’s latest album is undisputedly glorious, in fact, so wonderful I can only describe it as a transcendental masterpiece. It really is THAT phenomenal. From the imposing artwork, to the seemingly effortless musical composition and seamless interaction of the band, Nina’s decibel-pushing celestial vocals; the list is endless! “Parallel Eternity” is packed to the hilt with power, passion and overflowing with pomposity and grandeur, you feel you’re in the best seats in the house at a breath-taking theatrical production. It is a work of art and to think that A SOUND OF THUNDER is 100% independent and their work has been achieved through crowdfunding alone by their loyal fanbase, just makes their feat all the more awe-inspiring and admirable.  “Parallel Eternity” is a powerfully thrilling album that had me hooked from start to finish. Stunning.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. A Sound of Thunder
2. Explorer
3. Walls
4.The Buried Truth
5. Discovery
6. Time’s Arrow
7. Queen of Hell
8. Udoroth
9. Elijah
10. Can’t Go Back
11. Els Segadors (The Reapers)
12. Phantom Flight
Lineup:
Nina Osegueda – Vocals
Josh Schwartz – Guitars, Keyboards
Chris Haren – Drums, Percussion
Jesse Keen – Bass, Keyboards, Vocals (backing)
Record Label: Independent
     


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