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A Sound of Thunder: The Lesser Key of Solomon

I admit it: I like hearing success stories about Kickstarter campaigns. One of those stories is about this band. In 2013, fans of this band, collectively known as the "Legion of Thunder" raised over $23,000 so their beloved band could make this new album.

As I listened to this album I was a little nervous, mostly because fan-generated funding often goes in one of two ways. The first way is to build on the strength of previous releases and push things forward, taking songwriting and performance to new, more impressive, levels. The second way is to recreate, to the extent possible, the sound of earlier work and hope that fans don't notice a possible drop in creativity. So far as I can tell, this band has chosen the first option. This album has the kind of energy, drive, and passion one expects from a band hungry to make a good impression and to court new listeners. I would be very interested to know what the financial contributors to this album think. I can only assume most of them would be happy with this tight and generally strong release.

The best thing about this band is the way individual members mix things up musically. Though A Sound of Thunder is probably best understood to play traditional heavy metal, the overall sound sometime favors something closer to progressive rock, sometimes even delving into atmospheric rock. I was impressed with the variety of sounds, especially as each of them shed light on the band's songwriting. To my ears, the songwriting on this album evolved from track to track. I especially liked the judicious use of guitar harmonies and the occasional flashy solo. Nina Osegueda's vocals are also consistently strong.

My main complaint about this album is that, for all its obvious strengths, it occasionally stumbles into by-the-numbers song structures. I'm mostly thinking of "Udoroth," a fairly predictable demon-themed rocker. This band is at their best when they push beyond convention, when they let their individual talents contribute to something more nuanced, more powerful.

Track Listing:
1. Nexus of Realities
2. Udoroth
3. Fortuneteller
4. The Boy Who Could Fly
5. Elijah
6. Master of Pain
7. Blood from the Mummy's Tomb
8. Black Secrets
9. One Empty Grave
10. House of Bones

Added: September 10th 2014
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: band website
Hits: 1944
Language: english

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