In seeing the photograph of Canada's John Mikl Thor included with the press sheet for this album entitled Beastwomen From The Center Of The Earth, and reading where this guy bends steel with his bare hands are part of his stage act it's best not to laugh too hard and take this release rather seriously. After all, one has to be concerned on whether they will lose a kneecap or something!
Well I have to admit that I don't scare too easily, and I always believe in being honest…
Seriously though (and all kidding aside), I am already familiar with the music of Thor from where I bought his album Only The Strong back in the early 1980's (on limited edition blood red vinyl at that!!). I had heard the song "Start Raising Hell" from a compilation entitled "Metal Killer Collection", and it got me curious enough to purchase an album from metal's thunder god. The music, though being a tad simplistic, certainly packed plenty of punch and 6-string firepower. Thunder metal such as this, sat well alongside bands such as Manowar and Crimson Glory back in the 80's.
I had lost touch with Thor's music following this, and it's just now in 2004 that I get a chance to hear some of Thor's music again. It appears that Thor has kept himself busy over the years, and now his this new collaboration with the American fantasy artist Mick Hoffman to produce this album, which in itself is a musical presentation along with a comic book presentation. I have seen where this has been done rather impressively with the likes of Alice Cooper's The Last Temptation and Psycho Circus by KISS. Thor's and Mick tale, puts Thor in an adventure with some scantily clad female warriors. I would like to note though, that Thor says he intends to glorify the strength and power of the female as opposed to some feeling that something of this nature degrades them.
Thor's style of metal seems to undergone a number of changes over the years, much as the aforementioned Alice Cooper's music has adapted the change in times. Musically this album seems to incorporate a lot of industrial and almost punk elements, and blends it with a simplistic form of hard rock/metal. There is also narration that links the tracks together and helps tell the story. I found that the album lacked the thunderous roar in the music to really bring a story of this nature to life, but I did find that the album does seem to be at times well thought out and arranged. I have to admit however, that it's nice to hear some music from the mighty Thor once again and I hope to hear more of his music in the years to come. Let The Blood Run Red!
1. Break The Ice
3. The Sleeping Giant
5. Siren's Calling
6. The Sky Land
7. We Are The Panthers
8. Hail Thor
9. Mushroom World
10. Palace Of Gold
11. Cry Of The Valkyrie
13. Symphony Of Steel (bonus track)