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Articles Home » 2015 Articles » Thor - 2015 Metal Avenger
 
Thor - 2015 Metal Avenger



ARTIST: Thor
ALBUM: Metal Avenger
LABEL: Deadline Music/Cleopatra
SERIAL: CLO 0020
YEAR: 2015

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Featuring Thor, and numerous special guests

TRACK LISTING: 01 Out Of Control * 02 Metal Avenger * 03 Kings Of Thunder And Lightning * 04 Master Of Revenge * 05 Destruct * 06 The Hammer * 07 Taste Of Victory * 08 Heavy Load * 09 Legions Of The Psykon World * 10 Drive * 11 Stars Upon Stars * 12 T.H.O.R * 13 Atomic Man * 14 Wings Of Destiny * 15 Law Of The Universe

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.facebook.com/THOR.Official.Page


Background
When talking about survivors in the heavy metal scene, Thor must be a prime candidate. Having toiled for 40 plus years in the music industry, lesser men would have given up the ghost years ago, but Jon Mikl Thor if anything is resilient. Still touting his superhero persona to maximum effect, Thor seems to be riding a wave of resurgence as of late, with his recent documentary 'I Am Thor' gaining positive reviews, detailing his rise and fall and eventual comeback in a fashion similar to Anvil's some years back. Musically Thor retains the sound which brought him so much notoriety in the 80's and this album is very much the equal of ancient classics like 'Keep The Dogs Away' and 'Only The Strong.' In fact you'd be hard pressed to guess any time had passed at all such is Thor's dedication to his 'muscle rock' formula, which is so metal that Manowar seem tame by comparison. Another highlight is the impressive assortment of guests, including Henry Rollins, Jay Jay French, 'Fast' Eddie Clarke, Betsy Bitch and Jack Starr among others. Thor has gone all out on this album and it clearly shows.


The Songs
Maintaining the Thor persona means over the top shenanigans and the plot of the album includes (in Thor's words) 'Thor's quest to overcome the overlords of the planet Psykon and free the slaves on the mastership.' That doesn't detract from a storming set which had me thinking it was still 1985, right from the opener 'Out of Control' which indicates Thor has lost none of his vocal ability over the years. This really is straight from another era, the production keeping the values of Thor's early work. Eddie Clarke is heard on the title track, a metal anthem indeed, with the right amount of serious riffing giving it the necessary heaviness. The pairing of Thor and Henry Rollins makes for a classic duet, resulting in the best track for me, 'Master Of Revenge' and it's surging riff backing up the aggression of both men's he-man vocals. This was a stroke of genius on Thor's part and it's great to see the recognition he's receiving from some true greats. Taking into account there are 15 songs means a lot of listening and patience, but most of the songs work including 'Taste Of Victory (with Betsy Bitch)' and the almost Southern Rock inspired 'Drive' which throws in some boogie riffs which vaguely recall AC/DC in their 70's guise with Bon Scott. What it has to do with the planet Psykon is unclear though. 'T.H.O.R.' features a mammoth gang chorus and is quality comedy and 'Atomic Man' sounds like a crude early metal track from the early 70's. On the faster side is 'Wings Of Destiny' which is the kind of metal fans of The Rods will lap up, but the slower side isn't ignored, 'Law Of The Universe' far more introspective, with Thor singing about his will to survive. There are some tracks which tend to plod, but with 15 in total that's inevitable, the good far outweighing the average.


In Summary
A great effort by Thor and easily his highest profile release for years. He's always been around, but his visibility hasn't always been noticeable as in decades past. Watching his struggles in the documentary gives me a new respect for the man, who clearly hit rock bottom before finding his way back. Not many could claim the longevity Thor has and with this strong effort he's clearly found a new lease of life. This is as metal as it gets in 2015 and in a good way, not forced or retro like so many others.


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