Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Sound of Thunder-The Lesser Key of Solomon

Mad Neptune Records

On September 9th Washington, DC-based A Sound of Thunder will release their fourth full-length album "The Lesser Key of Solomon". Up front the obvious must be stated. If ever there was proof that one does not necessarily need the backing of a major label to achieve success then it would have to be this female-fronted band and their Kickstarter-funded new LP! Produced by Kevin '131' Gutierrez (While Heaven Wept, Raven, Shinedown) and funded in big part by the "Legion of Thunder" (A Sounder of Thunder's loyal fan base) "The Lesser Key of Solomon" will be released on the group's own label and for members Nina Osegueda (vocals), Josh Schwartz (guitar), Jesse Keen (bass, keyboards) and Chris Haren (drums) this phenomenal album isn't just as good as it gets for the band, but rather it serves as the group's defying moment while further proving just how criminally underrated this four-piece is! After the release of group's "Time's Arrow" (an album which made my best-off list for 2013!) it would have seemed hard to fathom that this progressive power metal band could have possibly bested it. But, here it is and with it's genre-defying mix of all things hard and heavy (it's not just progressive power metal anymore folks, but traditional heavy metal, speed metal, melodic metal, dark metal, symphonic metal and even hard rock!) and it's overall dark vibe "The Lesser Key of Solomon" leaves me thinking that not only will it make this year's list, but it might just top the list! Classically-trained vocalist Nina Osegueda, who has rightly been described as "the love child of Rob Halford and Bruce Dickinson", sounds better then ever as she stretches her voice to new heights! On "Udoroth" (a number that was previously released as a Kickstarter exclusive) she end's up leading the band through epic metal territory and yet she masterfully switches things up on the beautiful (Doro-ish) "The Boy Who could Fly". And then there is atmospheric "One Empty Grave". I'm at a loss when it comes to fully spelling out the power of this gripping number. It's wonderfully mysterious and for Nina it stands at a moment when all the stars align. At this point in the game Nina has the world at her fingertips as he leaves the listener spellbound by her alluring voice. To be fair it helps tremendously when you're teamed up with skilled musicians like Schwartz, Keen and Haren who combine their creative efforts in order to give their lead singer an ever-expansive stage upon which she can perform. This trio is instrumental (no pun intended!) in making sure that number's as different as "Elijah" (Savatage meets Dio while Merciful Fate looks on? Maybe. Only here there is so much more going on!), "Master of Pain" (sweet Dio worship!) and the heavy, power metal track "Black Secrets" all retain that one distinctive sound that is undeniably their own! With 10-tracks total (all of which are tied together thanks to this album's supernatural themes) "The Lesser Key of Solomon" has so much to offer longstanding fans of the group as well as newcomers. Ending with the eight-minute plus "House of Bones", which is one cut where the band elegantly lays their open hearts out for all to examine, A Sound of Thunder (or "ASoT" as their known to fans) has recorded the most versatile album that one could have only dreamed of and whether you can lay a definitive tag at feet of this motivational band or not isn't much of a problem. The real problem is having to wait until September 9th in order to have the whole package (music, booklet, stunning artwork, etc.) come in it's physical form!

Want to have your own copy of this spectacular metal masterpiece? If so then head to the link below to pre-order "The Lesser Key of Solomon".

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