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Thunderstone - Apocalypse Again

Thunderstone
Apocalypse Again
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 12 May 2016, 10:36 AM

THUNDERSTONE is a Power Metal band based out of Helsinki, Finland. Formed in 2000, this is the band’s sixth full-length album, and contains nine tracks. “Veterans of the Apocalypse” leads off the album, with a galloping, upbeat rhythm and prolific use of keyboards. The vocals are strong and commanding, equally as effective in upper ranges. The key change in the chorus really lets the harmonies come through, and the guitar and keyboard solos leave your head spinning. “The Path” is slower and somewhat darker but once again the chorus is spot on. The contrast between verse and chorus is stark and that is what makes the chorus so memorable. “Fire and Ice” swirls with keyboards and deep emotion and it reminds me of something I might have heard from WHITESNAKE back in the day. It has that air of fantasy, like watching the plight of a dragon through his own eyes.
 
“Walk Away Free” is full of spunk and vitality, with the message of liberation that comes from your choice to leave things behind that you do not need to burden yourself with any longer. “Higher” is a mid-tempo number where the palm muted riff takes the center stage. A lot of good Power Metal has a noble or majestic type of sound and that really comes through in this track for sure. “Days of our Lives” is a slow, weighted song that is close to what you might label a “Power Ballad” of sorts. The vocals are the highlighted parts of this song, as the guitar riff and keyboards take a more supporting role. The choice of a keyboard solo really fits well with the song in my opinion.
 
Closing the album is the near eight minute track called “Barren Land.” It’s an epic song that features some piano along with keyboards which thickens out the song nicely. In addition, there are several “movements” along the way where the song takes on a different character. It all culminates in the final chorus, bursting with a passionate impact. There are several things here on the album that make it as good as it is, but for me it’s the compositional use and extended presence of the keyboards that set it apart. Fans of Power Metal will not be disappointed here.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Veterans of the Apocalypse
2. The Path
3. Fire and Ice
4. Through the Pain
5. Walk Away Free
6. Higher
7. Wounds
8. Days of our Lives
9. Barren Land
Lineup:
Pasi Rantanen – Vocals
Nino Laurenne – Guitar
Titus Hjelm – Bass
Jukka Karinen – Keyboards
Atte Palokangas – Drums
Record Label: AFM Records
     


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Edited 23 July 2019
 

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