The Inside Pulse: From the icy crags of Finland comes Thunderstone, a quintet of headbangers making quality power metal that owes more to the heady days of the 80’s than to their Scandinavian death metal brethren (I know Finland technically isn’t part of Scandinavia, but close enough). With their third release, Tools of Destruction, Thunderstone is poised to take American metal fans by storm.
Positives: Strong vocals by lead singer Pasi Rantanen anchor the album, and are the perfect foil for guitarist Nino Laurenne’s melodic playing. The band sounds like they could have sprung out of the same fertile soil as Dio and Rainbow, with strong tracks like the album opener “Tool of the Devil”, “Liquid of the Kings”, and the standout track “Welcome to the Real”.
Negatives: There are some points on the album where the synth becomes overbearing, as if the band feels they need to remind everyone listening that they have a keyboardist in the band. The lyrics sometimes sound as if they could have sprung from a Nebraska cornfield. “Another Time”, the obligatory metal ballad, could have easily been left off.
Cross-breed: Dio with the keyboard player from Europe.
Reason to buy: Fans of power metal will find this to be a solid addition to their library.