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Thunderbolt - 2003 Demons And Diamonds

ARTIST: Thunderbolt
ALBUM: Demons And Diamonds
LABEL: Massacre
YEAR: 2003


LINEUP: Tony Johannssen - vocals, keyboards * Cato Syversrud - lead guitars * Frank Johannssen - rhythm guitars * Morten Eriksen - bass * Vegard Waske - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Palantir (Instrumental) * 02 Lidless Eye * 03 Demons & Diamonds * 04 The Great Walls Of Stone * 05 Days Of Confusion * 06 Enforcer * 07 Heartrazor * 08 The Murderer's Dream (Of Purgatory) * 09 Haunted By Shadows * 10 Baptized By Fire * 11 Crucified

While doing a bit of research on Thunderbolt I discovered that many of the members come from a couple of well known Norwegian hardcore bands. You could have fooled me. 'Demons and Diamonds' is so far removed from hardcore it's not funny. If you are familiar with bands such as Cryonic Temple and Hammerfall then you're going to have a pretty good idea of what Thunderbolt are all about. That's right - True Heavy Metal. No complaints here. I won't try to hide it, these guys aren't overly original. I don't think any True Metal band could be these days, but Thunderbolt obviously live it, breathe it and play it in a more than competent fashion.

The Songs
If you are a True Metal band then you've got to be influenced by one of the masters, whether it's Manowar, Judas Priest, Saxon, or in Thunderbolt's case, Iron Maiden. Their vocalist Tony has an uncanny resemblance to Bruce Dickinson, which doesn't hurt Thunderbolt's older Iron Maiden styled metal anthems. This is real festival type metal, and there are plenty of galloping riffs and twin lead harmonies to get the Wacken faithful banging their heads in unison. Like I said, this isn't going to break any new ground, but if you like your metal with an older feel but brought in to the 21st century production wise, then you'll find plenty here. The material doesn't deviate much through the album, so there is a feeling of sameness after a while. But on a whole the effort is there and it's done with conviction. The title track, 'Days of Confusion' and 'Heartrazor' stand out a bit from the others. 'The Murderer's Dream' gets the thumbs up for the best track. Rampaging and massive.

In Summary
Some would say that bands such as Thunderbolt are redundant in this day and age. Haven't we heard it all before, they might say. My answer is, if the band believes in what they're doing then you can hear it, and that is the case with Thunderbolt. By the way guys, I'd love to hear an Iron Maiden cover sometime.

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