|Review: Thunderbolt (Norway) - Demons and Diamonds|
|Demons and Diamonds|
Label: Face Front
Year released: 2002
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: January 22, 2006
Reviewed by: Ivan the Bludgeon
for:Demons and Diamonds
Rated 3/5 (60%) (2 Votes)
A three-minute instrumental intro, cryptically called Palantir, made me feel pretty sanguine about what was at hand with this debut. Melodious symphonic keyboards impregnated with powerful galloping riffs promised something rewarding ahead, however, the actual state of affairs failed to fulfill the task.
Paying homage to Iron Maiden these Norwegians surely meant well, but good intentions and irreproachable command of instruments alone don't have the key role in making a decent album. There are far and away more important factors, such as originality, songwriting or vocal delivery, which tip the scales in the long analysis. Regretfully, the band somehow missed all the mentioned above, which resulted in rather a middling output. Most of the tracks are insipid, unappealing, and a completely inappropriate vox just pours oil on the flames. If you have the dare to play your Metal in the spirit of Maiden, then acquire a proper vocalist. Not that Mr. Johannessen is a complete failure, but his vocal range just doesn't agree with this style of Metal. In the course of the entire album Thunderbolt's frontman leads the same monotonous singing: no expressiveness, no intonation changes, everything being tedious and unexciting.
The overall contents are rather thin too, let alone the fact that there's barely any trace of some tolerable soloing. And isn't it one of the most important foundation supporting the whole structure? The drummer's uncomplicated attempts, in particular, are kept in the background whereas the bassist, in his quest to be another Steve Harris, overemphasizes his playing too conspicuously.
And it is particularly deplorable as the band do have enough potential to be reckoned with. Two tracks on the album, Lidless Eye and The Murderer's Dream, could have proved to be true masterpieces but for the flimsy vox and mediocre production. So, what are the judge's final words? If you are greedy for anything referring to name Iron Maiden, then welcome to the pay-desk. I, for one, would sooner go and listen to Machine Men's last creation.
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