If you're a fan of old school, riff-heavy, and kick-ass thrash metal, Tornado is one of the few bands out there on the scene today who manages to deliver the goods just as terrifically as the pioneers from the eighties. Even though this young act seemingly came out of nowhere, the music on Amsterdamn, Hellsinki shows that they mean business - and by business, I mean some of the most impressive thrash metal you'll hear all year! Tornado may not offer a whole lot in the way of innovation on this debut, but the sheer strength and energy of the songs is more than enough to compensate for that. Fans of thrash metal on the more upbeat and energetic side should be sure to get Amsterdamn, Hellsinki in their collections as soon as possible!
The music here is rather upbeat old school thrash metal with obvious influences from the likes of Forbidden, Artillery, Megadeth, and Anthrax. Tornado may wear their influences proudly on their sleeves, but the music here does sound new and fresh and I wouldn't ever label Amsterdamn, Hellsinki as a mere cloning exercise. The heavy and occasionally technical riffs are always top-of-the-line, and the rock-styled vocals are packed with power and emotion. Tornado deliver an extremely inspired performance here, and every riff breathes of power and raw aggression. Factor in the top-notch musicianship and the highly professional production, and you have an all-around musical success!
One of the things I actually found most interesting about Amsterdamn, Hellsinki was the lyrical content. The politically-charged lyrics about pedophilia within the Catholic church, global warming, freedom, and oppression are always extremely interesting, and the occasional dashes of sexual humor and profanity assure the listener that Tornado are still having fun in the long run. Whether or not you agree with the political agenda portrayed in the lyrics is almost irrelevant - Tornado's seamless combination of anger, intelligence, and humor makes this an excellent lyrical journey for nearly every listener.
Amsterdamn, Hellsinki may not be the most appealing album for those looking for a true act of innovation within the thrash metal scene, but it's an essential purchase for any fan of eighties' thrash metal with modern production values. It's rare that I'm left this impressed after hearing a thrash metal album these days, and I have to admit that Tornado are one of the most impressive acts on the scene right now. I'll be very curious to hear where these guys head in the future, and this terrific debut fully deserves 4 stars in my book. Don't let this kick-ass slab of old school thrash metal slip under your radar!
1. A Bold Statement
2. Hate Worldwide
3. 3 of 8
4. Massive Extinction Impact
6. Ignorance Is Thy Name
9. Priesthood Pedophilia
11. Tunisia Uprising
12. Rise Disciples, Rise