You also can’t ignore the vocal range of Nina Osegueda throughout this album. Her range and abilities are right up there along the greats in my books on this one. “Obsidian & Gold (Desdinova Returns)” starts off with just her vocals, a bold and strong move by any singer. This shows her confidence and this song just shows her commitment to her craft. Melody and power are her strong suit as her aggressive vocal attempt on “Atlacatl” had me cringing. Aggressive doesn’t sound natural which is why I’m glad it’s only minimal and on one song.
Let’s be honest rockers, when you think of power metal you think Europe. Bands from the UK and beyond. You think bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. Well just like everything in life, things exist beyond origin. A Sound Of Thunder has been cranking it up to eleven for years now and their latest album It Was Metal is a reminder how much metal lives and thrives in the US.
Back in the fall they released “Els Segadors (The Reapers)” early to show support for the political uprising that was going on in Catalonia, Spain. While it’s opening has a “Trooper” vibe to it trust me when I say it’s no copy of it. The marching rhythm set forth by Chris Haren on drums gets your feet ready to go just as both Josh Schwartz on guitar and singer Nina Osegueda start the battle cry. This song got huge news overseas and perked up the ears to everyone in the US.
Smartly A Sound Of Thunder made that song deep in the album so people would listen to more than that song. But equally as smart was opening the album with “Phantom Flight”. Not only does this start of guns ablaze with Schwartz’s strong riffs but it also features Mark Tornillo of Accept as a guest along side Nina Osegueda as they seamlessly trade off vocals. Their styles varying just enough to perfectly play off each other.
And course any power metal band is going to show off influences. While “Els Segadors (The Reapers)” has a small Iron Maiden vibe, a bigger such vibe is felt on “Lifebringer”. The galloping horses sound is very obvious on this one. But it’s only in parts. Josh Schwartz truly shines throughout this one breaking off from Chris Haren and bassist Jesse Keen at parts to bring that extra life into it. Then when the keyboards come in towards the end with a guitar you suddenly don’t know what to do. Do you air guitar with it or air keyboard with it? You’ll likely end up doing like me and just trying to do everything until you’ve used the energy this song built up in you like any good metal song does.
It’s safe to say that power metal lives within the US. A Sound Of Thunder has been proving it for years locally and now they are proving it to the world. It Was Metal is and always will be just that…metal that should be cranked up.