Artist: Thunderstone 
   Title: Dirt Metal
   Label: SPV Records

This year there has been a resurgence in great bands coming out of Finland and another to add to this list is the mighty Thunderstone, who release their fifth opus 'Dirt Metal', a triumph for Scandinavian Metal.

This new album sees a few changes in the line up from the bands previous albums, after the shock departure of singer Pasi Rantanen and keyboard player Kari Tornack back in 2007, it just took a few months to find suitable  replacements.  Rick Altzi took up the vacant vocal position and Jukka Karinen filled the keyboard role.  With the lineup complete the band retired deep into Finnish woods to write and record new songs, the result of which is 'Dirt Metal'.

Well the title says it all as far as I’m concerned, this is pure power driven Heavy Metal from the off.  A little darker and heavier than previous album perhaps, but this isn’t a bad thing, this is great groove filled metal that will appeal to a wide spectrum of Metal fans both old and new.

Things get underway in impressive style after the intro ‘Rebirth’ with the massive ‘I Almighty’, which instantly gives you a feel of what is to come with Altzi delivering some fine vocals, while Nino Laurenne fires out some quite spectacular guitar licks, with Titus Hjelm punishing the bass and Mirka Rantanen equally flamboyant on the drums, with Jukka Karinen adding some quite graceful keyboards.  A great start to the album for sure.  

One of my favourite tracks off the album has to be the blazing riff filled spectacle ‘Dirt Metal’.  This title track is just a great pounding metal track that will rock your very foundations. The booming metal is continued with ‘Blood That I Bleed’, with Rantanen providing a strong back beat.  Those skins are sure taking a pounding on this one.

The band really turn up the metal dial with the angst filled ‘Star’ before the guitar metal returns with ‘Ghosts of Youth’, a track that delves into the darker Power Metal feel, with Altzi delivering one of his best vocals on the album so far.  

There no holding this band back as they keep delivering the goods with ‘Counting Hours’ and the titanic fast paced ‘Dodge The Bullet’, with some quite sublime keyboards courtesy of Karinen.  But it I had to pick one track that cements what Thunderstone are all about then ‘Deadlights’ is that track.  It’s dark, it's heavy, but it still keeps true that melodic metal side.  A real classy piece of Scandinavian Metal.

The tempo is picked up once more with the mighty ‘At The Feet Of Fools’, before the album closes with the dark heady bass line of ‘Suffering Song’, which rounds off what has to be one of the Metal albums of the year so far for me, a great release, again the Scandinavians are showing how it should be done.

Tracklisting:

1. Rebirth
2. I Almighty
3. Dirt Metal
4. Blood That I Bleed
5. Star
6. Ghosts Of Youth
7. Counting Hours
8. Dodge The Bullet
9. Deadlights
10. At The Feet Of Fools
11. Suffering Song

                  

 

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