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White Thunder - Maximum: A Journey of a Billion Years Award winner

White Thunder
Maximum: A Journey Of A Billion Years
by Kevin Lewis at 07 September 2021, 8:21 AM

WHITE THUNDER is a five-piece Progressive Metal band from Rome with a lot of classical influences present in their compositions. Formed in 2011, "Maximum: A Journey Of A Billion Years" is their debut full-length record. Independently released on June 25, 2021, their debut is impressive and highlights that they have been working for ten years to get things right.

The record opens with “Timeless Despise,” a heavy song with a nice guitar riff. The drums and bass use variable rhythms to punctuate shifts in the song, indicating a love for classic prog techniques. The music is quite technical in many ways, feeling almost mathematical. The guitars shred and the vocals alternate between deep, rich tones and soaring belting. There is also distortion thrown in for good measure, along with some fry vocals as well. Oh, and there are chants as well. It’s a nice, complex mixture.

Next, we have “Orbit,” a song that starts hard and fast, but drops into a more classical feeling tone near the middle. The shift is dramatic and well-executed. This bridge ties the first and second parts of the song together. This is followed by “Trial,” a sludgier song at the start. This is more classic metal influenced song, rather than classic music influenced.

Moving down, we have “Everlasting Sight,” an almost thrash metal song holding down the middle of the record. The riff is crunchy, the rhythm just chugs along. This heavier tone drops into a lull and gives the listener a quick respite before ramping back up. Prog metal goodness, front to back! This runs into the instrumental, “Dream-Like Surface,” an almost surreal sounding tune that uses primarily ambient tones and off-beat noises. It’s a good way to wind down from the high we just experienced.

Wait For The Sun” is a slow starting song, feeling like a ballad, but that builds into a nice heavy song through the middle. It drops back out, then finishes back in the heavy realm. The variable tempos in this song are some of the best shifts on the record, which is saying something since this band loves to shift gears and does it well. The changes here are epic and so well timed they feel seamless, flawless.

Diving to the final track, we get the epic, over nine-minute “Away From The Sun (H.T.C.B.H.).” Starting with almost tribal sounding drums and futuristic keyboards, the song jumps to an intense riff that drives hard and shifts from fast and furious to slower and more melodic, only to drive hard again. The variety of tempos, tone and leads in this song really highlight the talents of the band as a whole.

The bass fills, the drum shifts, the riff changes, they all have their place in the composition. The vocals are mostly clean and use a combination of close and distant effects to indicate different senses. The growls give more depth to the overall sound. This is that epic Power/prog song that should close a live show.

WHITE THUNDER is a great mix of influences. The Power Metal, the Progressive Metal and the Classical compositional sounds all mix well. The sludgy power of Doom and Stoner Metal peeks in a few times, just to round out the sound. The Death Metal screams give some extra texture and feel to the songs, adding some edgy stuff into the mix. This is a band with a lot of talent and skill as musicians, but also as writers. I hope we don’t have to wait ten years for their next opus.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Timeless Despise
2. Orbit
3. Trial
4. Mainmast (Craving Silence)
5. Everlasting Sight
6. Dream-Like Surface
7. Wait for The Sun
8. Maximum
9. Kúma
10. Away from The Sun (H.T.C.B.H.)
Mattia Fagiolo – Vocals
Simone Ndiaye – Bass
Davide Fabrizio – Drums
Alessandro De Falco – Guitar
Jacopo Fagiolo – Guitar
Record Label: Arising Empire


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Edited 16 September 2021

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