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Thunder and Lightning – Demonicorn Award winner

Thunder and Lightning
by Rachel Montgomery at 06 January 2020, 8:21 PM

After a successful crowdfunding campaign, THUNDER AND LIGHTNING are back with their seventh studio album. For fans, they’re bringing back their edge and intensity in a varied lineup that shows the talent fans are accustomed to. Apart from a few hiccups, it’s a solid album set apart from other American-style Power Metal bands.

The instrumentals sound washy in the intro of the first track, “All Your Lies.” The vocal production is clear, but it’s very far forward and can drown out the already echoing instrumentals. However, the sweeps in the guitar work are excellent and show great musicianship, and after the first solo, the production quality in the instrumental strengthens. As far as the vocals go, they shine at the last part of the song; they’re technically well-done and emoted well. In short, it’s a shaky start, but gets better as the song progresses.

On the album, there are songs that are structured more orchestrally, more like a European Power Metal band but with less symphonics. Like the first song, they employ longer instrumental breaks between verses that are unique. Plus, each song has its own personality, and the fast and slow songs are mixed well.

Demonicorn” is a fast-hitting song with high octane guitars and a bombastic chorus fueled by echoing vocals. The solo had its own composition and features intense tricks and notations. The next song, “Demmin,” has a slower, more anthemic melody, distinguishing it from the first two songs. It’s no less intense, but the beat is more concentrated and anthemic. The chorus becomes more of a dirge, fitting thematically with the narrative of defeat in war.

The longer songs are drawn out and kept interesting through frequent melody changes and strong, emotive vocals. This is really apparent on the track “The Temple of Death.” After changing up melodies and featured instrumentals in the intro, the singer comes in with a clear, operatic timber and keeps the song going. The emotion from the singer, while keeping in good technical form, is impressive. The choral elements in the chorus and in the refrain later in the song keep the song intense and alive through its seven-minute run.

Telltale Signs” begins with rumbling guitars and, again, washed-back mixing. I’m guessing they’re supposed to build suspense along with the pushed-back choir, but it leaves me waiting too long for the intensity to come in. The narrative in the middle is also an interesting touch, as is the original melody in both guitar solos. Again, I love how each instrumental break, in songs that have two or more, have their own character and aren’t just continuations of the main melody.

Overall, the album has a lot of punch and a lot of flavor for eight songs. Besides one or two hiccups, the production is solid, and the musicianship is on-point, particularly the vocals. If you’re into Melodic Metal, but aren’t a fan of heavy symphonics, this album is for you.

Songwriting: 9
Production: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8

4 Star Rating

1. All Your Lies
2. Demonicorn
3. Demmin
4. The Temple of Death
5. God for a Day
6. Heaven's Gate
7. Salt to the Wounds
8. Telltale Signs
Norman “Diddi” Dittmar – Vocals
Marc Wüstenhagen – Guitars
Fabrizio Agabiti – Guitars
Robert “Hoschi” Rath – Bass
Steve Mittag – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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