A Sound Of Thunder - The Lesser Key Of Solomon review




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Reviewer:
8.0

23 users:
7.13
Band: A Sound Of Thunder
Album: The Lesser Key Of Solomon
Release date: September 2014


01. Nexus Of Realities
02. Udoroth
03. Fortune Teller
04. The Boy Who Could Fly
05. Elijah
06. Master Of Pain
07. Blood From The Mummy's Tomb
08. Black Secrets
09. One Empty Grave
10. House Of Bones


A Sound Of Thunder are unusually dynamic for a heavy metal band. Ever active with new ideas, this American quartet demonstrate an individualised determination with each energetic and engaging studio album. What sets them apart is their consistency in demonstrating an unusually high level of creative energy for a style which draws primarily from traditional heavy metal, and it continues to spur them on into new efforts with The Lesser Key Of Solomon.

With every new KickStarter aided effort, this band has delivered on promises paid with a lightning readiness to set out a new track-list, their chain reaction of quickly successive studio recordings resulting in a continually engaging style. Their direct yet diverse approach to their sub-genre presents a progressive streak and striking spark of originality in heavy metal, and they really know how to keep things fresh as much as fun, an initiative they follow-up with on their latest album.

Much to the growing interest of this band's rapidly amassing fan base, there's a number of things The Lesser Key Of Solomon unlocks, one of them being continued enhancement of their own sound, and a clarity of creativity and new direction in the genre's traditional and time tested form. Their style is more progressively inclined than the average heavy metal fare, as it takes stylistic elements from more than its heavy metal basis, often operating on guitar lines which segue from power and vocally focused segments into more meandering melodic riff based structures, rather than simply doling out concise mid-tempo after concise mid-tempo in a repetitious fashion.

This record integrates the directly engaging imperatives of power metal and hard rock as much as their Iron Maiden influenced riff structures in a sound that moves outside the generic, and comes across as characteristically energised. What the band do differently here is take the potency and melodic delivery of both power metal and hard rock at their most conceivably direct, the former receiving a greater emphasis this time around, and inject this irresistible mix into heavy metal rhythmic structures and stretch a few of them out into over eight minute elongated epics, keeping the rest at over four minutes, aside from the shorter and introductory "Nexus Of Realities". An hour in duration, this album more than meets the quota for variety, containing atmospheric and softer segments amidst the focus on power hooks, keyboard enhancement and well rounded melodies emboldened with a powerfully forward delivery. Such a varied quota isn't an expectation of this kind of metal, yet it's well filled here nevertheless. Variety is surely the album's greatest structural asset.

Dynamic is a key word for this record. Such a metal mix is understandably difficult to make with its continually engaging flow and listenable coherence, let alone perform with any degree of confidence and high level of approachability as is demonstrated here. Confidence; another key word. These musicians are obviously familiarised and at one with the compositional direction they take with their tunes. They're not overly ambitious with these song structures, and they avoid generics with ease and a powerfully melodic delivery which as attention seizing as the vocal performance.

Nina Osegueda's performance is one with notable and appreciable charisma. It's a not a regularity for a melodic metal act to have an actively distinctive style of voice that steers the sound, and one which is distinguished by strength and clear character in the performance. As effective as the instrumentation is, the rhythm section is often at the beck and call of the vocal arrangements, not the other way around and acting as an overpowering foundation for a voice failing to match the heavy, melodic and obviously guitar centric sound that is laid out here. Her voice well justifies the energy of the instrumentation, and is remarkable in that sense.

Much of The Lesser Key Of Solomon has an almost cinematic quality to it, unusual for a metal record foundationally rooted in tradition, and one clearly directed by the desire to present their heavy metal in a more thought-out storytelling fashion, no doubt a direct relation to the fact that the band draw's their name from a science-fiction piece.

This latest album finds the band's quickly established studio efforts becoming increasingly diversified and is the continued representation of an engaging style of heavy metal. Given the consistency demonstrated in such a short time, one can only wonder what this band could achieve given a longer time spent piecing together an album in the studio.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8


 



Written on 14.09.2014 by R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.


Comments

Comments: 5   Visited by: 128 users
14.09.2014 - 20:21
PocketMetal
I've been meaning to check them out, just totally forgot about them. Looks like this will be a good entry point, and I like that incredibly cheesy cover art.
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15.09.2014 - 05:34
R'Vannith
ghedengi
Written by PocketMetal on 14.09.2014 at 20:21

I've been meaning to check them out, just totally forgot about them. Looks like this will be a good entry point, and I like that incredibly cheesy cover art.


I'd recommend this as an entry point, in my impressions it's their most creative album so far. Incredible cheese is all part of the package.
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15.09.2014 - 18:47
Zaph
The Nothingth
Pretty unnecessarily long review in my opinion. Although it still intrigued me.
Then again, Metal Storm's review lengths are a lot shorter than most sites.
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And the tears that we will weep today
Will all be washed away
By the tears that we will weep again tomorrow
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24.09.2014 - 08:25
Theodore V
I know I'll probably get scorched for this BUT I hated the vocals. The rest is the usual "modern" heavy metal business with nothing interesting sticking out... A dark intro, a relatively energetic 1st track and then a cheesy ballad with too many backing vocals early on. Sorry, try again.
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11.10.2014 - 21:28
Susan
Smeghead
I discovered them with last year's Time's Arrow and am happy to finally be listening to this new release right now. Yes: "unusually dynamic" and "direct yet diverse approach" are great ways to describe this band! I'm so glad others are enjoying it. Thanks for reviewing!!

You mention it's a bit more hard rock than power metal this time and I can definitely hear that. I do miss something very slight in both the energy and harmonies of a few tracks here versus Time's Arrow; It almost feels sluggish here and there. Hopefully I'll grow to see this as just a few chill tracks. Nonetheless, I'm still very much enjoying this.
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"A life all mine
Is what I choose
At the end of my days"
--The Gathering "A Life All Mine" from Souvenirs
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