A Sound of Thunder are a heavy metal band based in Washington DC and are set to issue their latest full-length studio album on September 9, 2014. The band is fronted with the operatic wails of pintsized (standing a mere 5’2) classically trained (and hot) vocalist Nina Osegueda. Osegueda
has been described as “the lovechild of Rob Halford and Bruce Dickinson” and also as a “heavy metal Swiss Army knife” for her ability to move from a delicate whisper to the overwhelming power of her vocal prowess. The band began back in 2008 with the union of guitarist Josh Schwartz and drummer Chris Haren with the addition of Osegueda taking place in 2009. It would take until 2011 before they found and completed the definitive line-up in bassist Jesse Keen. A Sound of Thunder effectively combines elements of classic heavy metal, progressive and rock to formulate their unique sound. the forthcoming The Lesser Key Of Solomon will be their fourth full-length outing and a fine addition to the library I must say! The album was funded with a crowd funding campaign in which their fans, dubbed “The Legion of Thunder” raised over $23000.
The Lesser Key of Solomon begins with a more than two minute long, basically instrumental, intro titled “The Nexus of Realities” which doesn’t do much for me but I stick with it as the opening riffs of “Udoroth” begin. “Udoroth”, is a headbanging, power metal delight and medieval fantasy treat, a lyrical theme that is carried throughout the album. The album has some definite progressive elements and style combined with a NWOBHM sound that works all around. The compositions, for the most part, are lengthy in run time and serve as a showcase for Osegueda’s emotion-laden vocal prowess and ranges as exampled on tracks such as “The Boy Who Could Fly”. Guitarist Josh Schwartz’s soaring solos and bludgeoning riffs are peppered
throughout the release. The real progressiveness comes out on the near ten minute long “Elijah” containing many changes and even some spoken word storytelling, none of which, I confess is my usual style but it just works for me here. “Master of Pain” is reminiscent of the great Dio and another opus with the 8 1/2 minute long “Blood From the Mummy’s Tomb” adds another depth with the inclusion of tinkling bells. The slow build of “Black Secrets” serves as a playground for Schwartz and “One Empty Grave” is a definite standout for me from this album, but it’s not the only one that’s made it onto my MP3 player’s regular listening rotation. “House of Bones” serves as the final inclusion, another approaching the nine-minute mark and is again a standout, helping me to find the latter half of this release stronger than the beginning.
Throughout this record, I can hear the influences of great artists such as Alice Cooper, Iron Maiden, Dio and King Diamond combined with A Sound of Thunder’s unique blend of the progressive elements. With A Sound of Thunder issuing this kind of high-quality metal it’s no wonder they’ve developed a loyal fanbase dubbed “The Legion of Thunder”……so to join the legion do I have to sign in blood?
Meister Music (The Meister’s top tracks): “Udoroth”, “Master of Pain”, “Black Secrets”, “One Empty Grave” and “House of Bones”.