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Distant Thunder - 2004 Welcome The End

James Rivera - vocals
Mike LePond - bass
Eric Halpern - guitars
Gregg Gill - guitars
Rick Ward - drums

James Rivera is back!!! The Helstar, Destiny's End and Seven Witches vocalist brings his latest incarnation to the world. Rivera fans in general will lap this up and come back begging for more as James and co. tear up the pavement from start to finish. There's a good mix of Helstar, Destiny's End, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden. I even hear a little Annihilator. Get all those together and you're talking 'heavy f&%#ing metal'!!!! Joining James are guitarists Eric Halpern and Gregg Gill, who both play with the excellent Z-Lot-Z, Mike LePond from Symphony X and drummer Rick Ward. The foundation of Distant Thunder's sound is the tight rhythm guitars and searing leads courtesy of these talented musicians.

The Songs
There are a number of memorable moments but the riff on 'Lost In Time' is a ball breaker. The track begins slowly but when that riff kicks in, along with James' vocals, it will floor you. The Helstar references are all too obvious, considering the album cover (pentagram), the band name (a previous Helstar album title), and the re-recording of their tune &'Running With The Pack', which admittedly is inspired. I haven't heard the original, and probably won't bother as this version sounds amazing. Accept's 'Restless and Wild' also gets a good going over - James Rivera style. A couple of the newer tracks that really hit the mark are the menacing 'Soulless Inventions' with a wonderful galloping riff, while 'Fire In The Skies' is plain brutal with a mid-tempo chugging riff and great twin lead guitar.

In Summary
If you crave old fashioned American metal brought into the 21st Century then Distant Thunder will certainly feed your hunger. We can thank Jack Frost for wrapping the material in a first class production. Everything sounds great, especially those riffs when you turn the stereo way, way up. 'Welcome The End' is a superb, unrelenting album that won't let you down.

Track Listing:
01 The Day Upon You
02 I Welcome The End
03 Souless Inventions
04 Hopeless Creator
05 Fire In The Skies
06 Distant Thunder (instrumental)
07 Beyond The Black Field Of Stars
08 Lost In Time
09 Finding My Way
10 Run With The Pack
11 Restless And Wild

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