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Articles Home » 2002 Articles » Thunderstone - 2002 Thunderstone
Thunderstone - 2002 Thunderstone

Pasi Rantanen - vocals
Nino Laurenne - guitars
Titus Hjelm - bass
Kari Tornak - keyboards
Mirka Rantanen - drums

Since its release a year ago, Thunderstone's self titled debut has taken Europe by storm, with favourable reviews towards their brand of melodic metal, even taking first place as best new band in one of Germany's premier metal magazines. Thunderstone was the brainchild of Laurenne who formed the band as a vehicle for his demos in 2000, bassist Hjelm having previously played with Laurenne in Anidote, while drummer Mirka Rantanen is also a member of fellow Fins Tunnelvision. From there the Finnish act composed a series of demos and singles, deemed good enough to secure a deal from Nuclear Blast. This is a competent debut, power metal so typical of a European act, with similarites towards Symphorce, Hammerfall, Stratovarius and Gamma Ray, all leading lights in the melodic/power stakes.

The Songs
Things get off to a fast start, witnessed by 'let The Demons Free', with the usual tactics of heavy double bass drumming, shredding riffs and high pitched vocals, endearing yet hardly blow away material. 'Virus' feels like Helloween, 'Seven Keys' period, but more melodic, especially in Laurenne's tasteful guitar work, which reaches a high level in both riffs and solos, high praise for such a technical genre. The mid paced plod of 'World's Cry' is forgettable, although that chorus takes me back to Bon Jovi's 'Love Lies'! As is so common amongst power metal, a slower number is followed by a veritable rampage, see 'Me My Enemy', which could be described as speed metal, but not quite, as the heavy keyboard use decimates the overall heaviness. 'Will To Power' is the lengthiest track at eight minutes, employing twists and turns needed to maintain interest, something Iron Maiden forgot to do on 'Brave New World' (see 'The Nomad'). Without fail a power ballad appears, the barely three minute 'Weak', which isn't by any means, but still 'token' perhaps. 'Spread My Wings' is another such moment, one of those 'soaring' ballads with an arena chorus. 'Voice In A Dream' is slightly Dio inspired, a thumping bass and guitar tandem, preceded by the thrash of 'Like Father Like Son', nice and fast but lacking an individual style to make it stand out from the pack.

In Summary
Word has it that Thunderstone are readying their follow up, something which could make or break the impressive progress they have made in a relatively short period. Perhaps they could formularise a more varied approach as the symphonic power metal genre seems to a massive blur of identical sounds and ideas. Thunderstone occasionally fall into this area, but benefit with some standout guitar work, Laurenne fashioning an identifiable manner. A polished debut all the same, a far cry from the days when bands sounded suitably raw on first recordings, and a name to watch in the imminent days of European metal.

URL: www.thunderstone.org

Track Listing:
01 Let the Demons Free
02 Virus
03 World's Cry
04 Me, My Enemy
05 Will To Power
06 Weak
07 Eyes Of A Stranger
08 Like Father, Like Son
09 Voice In A Dream
10 Spread My Wings

Related Articles:

Thunderstone - 2002 Thunderstone

Thunderstone - 2004 The Burning

Thunderstone - 2005 Tools Of Destruction

Thunderstone - 2007 Evolution 4.0

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