Album number four from this band has a lot to live up to. They’ve improved with every release, so at some point they have to level out. Not yet though it would seem. This album was once again crowd funded through Kickstarter, and the response compared to Time’s Arrow was phenomenal, reaching a final total of well over double what they originally asked for. The band are gaining fans, and it’s not hard to understand why. Incidentally, the extra money went towards a forthcoming covers album with tracks chosen by the Kickstarter pledgers.
A Sound Of Thunder are the most British sounding American band I’ve heard, and this album is no different. The sound in a lot of places is classic NWOBHM, but there’s a lot more complexity in the way the songs are structured. There are elements of prog in there for sure, and the longer tracks in particular contain multiple switches in tempo, and overall it’s a lot darker and moodier than previous releases. Lyrically their trademark influences are all there, ranging from dark fantasy, to mythology and sci-fi to name but a few.
The album’s production has also been handled well, and with the complex arrangements in the music, that’s something that could have been so easily overdone. What makes this a defining moment though, is that the band have found a signature style and their own sound. It’s always been evident, but this release sounds a lot more fluid. It’s as though everything has just clicked into place.
Nina’s vocal was one of the things that first struck me about this band, and this album is no different, although it seems that she’s found even more range from somewhere. I don’t have a clue how she does it, but she remains (imho) one of the finest metal vocalists around. Jesse and Chris on bass and drums respectively effectively “bring the thunder” and there’s plenty of it to go round, and Josh’s guitar work has gotten a little more technical, he’s always been good at shredding, but this album has brought another dimension to his playing and he switches between those realms with apparent ease.
Put all of that together, and you’ve got something of truly epic proportions. If you’re a fan of that classic British heavy metal sound, then this is an album you simply must have. There are a lot of really good bands out there, but there aren’t many great ones. A Sound Of Thunder though are definitely one of the latter.