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Review: Labyrinth - Sons of Thunder
Sons of Thunder

Label: Metal Blade Records
Year released: 2000
Duration: 50:31
Tracks: 10
Genre: Progressive Power Metal


Review online: May 21, 2008
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.13/5 (82.5%) (24 Votes)

Just to dismiss the collective Labyrinth-bashing propensities of the greater metal community does not bring their once mighty talents back into light, but one listen to their third full length Sons of Thunder and you'll be falling at the feet of the Power Metal godfathers before you can say Lasagna! Sons of Thunder, much like its revered predecessor Return to Heaven Denied, is a storming blast of hyper-fast, sickly-sweet, progressively-tinged Power Metal owing its melodic genius to their one time Vision Divine contributor, Olaf Thorsen. Now, I have raved about this man in the past, but nowhere does his brilliance seem so genuine than here. Without any discernable effort, Thorsen, with the help of vocal legend Rob Tyrant, created a set of incredibly emotional yarns all weaved around the insalubrious dealings of Louis XIV and his indelible attraction to Kathryn of Venice. In a passionate display, Labyrinth manage to capture the atmosphere of 1679 with their whimsical ardor; far removed from the gigantic bombast of Rhapsody, yet bubble-wrapped in enough pomp to turn away the less adventurous listener.

Many have often chastised Sons of Thunder for being a complete rehash of Return to Heaven Denied, but I actually prefer this tome over the latter, as the album flows more coherently, and the expansive subject matter allows Labyrinth to appraise more pretentious behavior. There are some fantastic riffs and melodies to be discovered here; take the arresting "Kathryn" and its sugary harmonies or "Elegy" and its soaring chorus — nothing so affecting has graced the Labyrinth name before or since. The ropy production can sometimes get in the way of the band's ambitious technicality, and Tyrant's high-pitched wail can zoom right off the charts, but in terms of ingenuity, Sons of Thunder is possibly the band's finest hour, and one to cherish if rose-petal Power Metal has you reaching for the Kleenex.

More about Labyrinth...
Review: 6 Days To Nowhere (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: Architecture of a God (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Labyrinth (reviewed by Christian Renner)
Review: Return To Heaven Denied (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Return to Heaven Denied Pt. II - "A Midnight Autumn’s Dream" (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: Welcome to the Absurd Circus (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Welcome to the Absurd Circus (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Interview with Rob Tyrant on July 6, 2007 (Interviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
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