A Sound Of Thunder continues to be one of the hardest working bands in the underground. They are constantly gigging up and down the East Coast, and occasionally branching out into new unchartered waters on mini tours throughout the US. Not only that, the band pretty much lives in the studio putting out one work after another. The band has been together for about seven years and this is their fifth full length studio album (never mind a couple of EPs under their belt and an upcoming covers album). Their style is very hard to pigeon hole because there is a mixture of quite a few influences in the music and each album really has its own style in and of itself. Sometimes balls out power, sometimes gentle and inviting, sometimes ominously doomy, but always interesting. Vocalist Nina Osequeda has proven she can sing any style you want to throw at her and not miss a beat. She can give you some insanely strong power and then melt your heart with a warm ballad before freaking you out with her dark doomy tones. Josh Schwartz is the key songwriter and asylum head here and he definitely doesn’t mind thinking outside of the box in the studio. Just listening to Tales you get hints of the classical power that the band has brought to the table time and again as well as a smattering of hard rock, even some punk and jazzy sounds interspersed. This album in particular is interesting as it is a concept album based upon the Shadowman comics. There is a spoken narration coursing through all the songs, and to some this may be a distraction, but it does definitely work to bring the story together. Whether this hurts the band as far as airplay goes may be a matter of opinion, but the songs do sound a bit weird if taken out of the album context. There is a bit less of the power metal feel here with most of the tracks being a bit more mid-tempo, though the mix of songs is very solid and like any previous release it doesn’t stand in one area for very long. A Sound Of Thunder has some nay-sayers who just don’t get it, and with the bands continuing endeavors to defy musical and metal genres, that most likely won’t change anytime soon, especially not with a concept album. That is just fine because there are Legions of Thunder who do get them and will follow them to hell and back. Is this the best A Sound Of Thunder album out there currently? Maybe not. Is this a really cool concept and a fun album to listen to? Most definitely! I will proudly add this one to my shelf next to all their others!
Choice Tracks – Tower Of Souls, Tremble, Children Of The Dark, Can’t Go Back, Punk Mambo