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Thunder Horse – Chosen One

Thunder Horse
Chosen One
by Gary Hernandez at 08 April 2021, 8:26 PM

THUNDER HORSE is a not so little band hailing from San Antonio, Texas. They formed circa 2018, or at least that’s when their self-titled debut album hit. Their second full-length album, “Chosen One,” was released on March 12, 2021 on Ripple Music. It goes down like a smooth Texas bourbon that whispers sweetly in your ear and then kicks your ass all the way home with boots of lead.

Most people would characterize THUNDER HORSE as Doom Metal, more for their down-tuned, blues approach than for their lyrical intent. In my book, maybe Stoner Doom, or just heavy ass rock ‘n’ roll. With THUNDER HORSE what you get are clean vocals, twin guitars, deep and steady rhythm section, and even some subtle effects all mixed to perfection with some great production. You can see why this band was picked up by Ripple after just one album.

This album has so much going for it. First, the cover art. Penned by Macedonia-based, metal artist Pig Hands, this cover is a must have t-shirt, black light poster, tattoo, zippo lighter, Harley gas tank icon. Just looking at it compels me to go out and buy a mess of votive candles to adorn the altar I’m going to build around it. Second, we’re talking 11 tracks and almost a full hour of glorious tunage. Third, two bonus tracks, including a remake of “Dear Mr. Fantasy” plus an extended version of “Texas,” a lament for the homeland after being stranded in Cali for too long. The track reminds me a bit of TSOL’s “Let Me Go.” I know some people will hate that comparison, but they can go on write their own review.

My favorite tracks are the first three out of the shoot: “Let Them Bleed,” “Among the Dead,” and “Ride of the Heathens.” “Texas,” of course, is high on my list partly for 11 the years I lived in that great state . . . as well as the six years I spent in California. Throw that track on at any icehouse in Texas and you’ll get a bunch of cowboys and metal heads singing along to chorus: “I don’t want to die in California / Take me back to Texas if you can / I don’t want to die in California / I want to die in Texas with my friends.” Then some Californian will say something stupid, and he’ll be beat within an inch of his life. And that’s how it rolls in Tejas. Along those lines, “Remembrance” is an Allman Brothers-esque tearjerker, even without a single lyric. “Halfway to Hell” and the cover of “Dear Mr. Fantasy” are also killer.

Final verdict: THUNDER HORSE’s sophomore album, “Chosen One,” proves their debut wasn’t a fluke. These boys have some staying power. And with Texas opening up, you might even be able to catch them live soon. Buy this album, buy the previous one and keep an eye on the Ripple boards for more to come.

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

4 Star Rating

1.  Let Them Bleed
2.  Among the Dead
3.  Rise of the Heathens
4.  Chosen One
5.  Broken Dreams
6.  Song for the Ferryman
7.  Texas
8.  Halfway to Hell
9.  Remembrance
Dave Crow – Bass, vocals
Jason "Shakes" West – Drums
Todd "The Bird" Connally – Guitars, programming
Stephen Bishop – Vocals, guitars
Record Label: Ripple Music


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Edited 28 January 2023

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