|Review: Iron Fire - Thunderstorm|
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2000
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: March 21, 2009
Reviewed by: PowerMetal59
Rated 3.4/5 (68%) (20 Votes)
This was one of those blind purchases that I made one afternoon long ago at my favorite independent record store. Maybe it was the cheesy cover art which drew my attention, but in any event Thunderstorm became and still is one of my all-time favorite Power Metal releases.
By no means did Thunderstorm plow new ground in terms of originality, but the quality of the songs is on par with the early works of bands such as Sonata Arctica, Edguy and Hammerfall. Comparison-wise the music has a definite Running Wild influence, which is further enhanced on the limited edition copy with a cover of "Under Jolly Roger". Producer Tommy Hansen did a superb job of tying together an atmosphere that places the listener in the midst of the battle, thunder clapping, horse gallops, explosions and all.
Over time Thunderstorm has been judged in a variety of ways, running the gamut of very harsh to very complimentary, but what has always impressed me is that when this album was released the average age of the musicians was around 20. Vocalist Martin Steene, who wrote most of the songs, has a solid voice which like fine wine has steadily improved with age. Unfortunately over the years the band has experienced numerous line-up changes and disputes with record labels, which has no doubt stunted their growth. Despite the turmoil, Martin Steene has stayed the course, refusing to give in and let Iron Fire die, which now appears to be paying dividends because with their past two releases, 2007's Blade of Triumph and their most recent To The Grave, the Danes appear at long last to be hitting their stride.
Thunderstorm is loaded with enough fist-pumping catchy Power Metal anthems and heavy razor-sharp guitar hooks to slay the meanest of dragons. Nostalgia aside, for true fans of the early Power Metal era, Thunderstorm demands a place in your collection.
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