Thunderstone - Evolution 4.0 4/5

Reviewed: 5-18-07





Tracklist:

1. Evolution 4.0
2. Forevermore
3. Roots of anger
4. 10,000 ways
5. Holding on to my pain
6. Swirled
7. Down with me
8. Face in the mirror
9. Solid ground
10. The source
11. Great man down


Melodic power metal band, Thunderstone, have returned with an absolute gem of a release. Their 4th studio album is called ‘Evolution 4.0’ and it continues their trend of solid melodic power/heavy metal. Thunderstone was formed in 2000 and then burst onto the metal scene with their 's/t' debut CD in 2002. They then turned more heads with their 2004 release, ‘The burning’. And finally in 2005, Thunderstone released ‘Tools of destruction’, similar to ‘The burning’ but with a slight improvement.

‘Evolution 4.0’ is very much like their previous CDs, as Thunderstone has tended to stay with their winning formula. The difference with this release, however, is that Thunderstone has become far more aggressive, speedy and heavy. A lot more heavy bass has been infused into their makeup, and it has greatly improved their sound. It is as though the band has received an inspiring pep talk from “Iron” Mike Dikta, because this more aggressive style completely blew me away and is exactly what this band needed.

Even with the added aggression and heaviness, Thunderstone still retain their melodic sound, and the soaring, emotional vocals from Pasi Rantanen are as good as ever. Mirka Rantenan’s drumming on this CD is top-notch and a few of the tracks from the CD are memorable from his performance. Most of the tracks on the CD are quick, but still very melodic, while the rest are Thunderstone’s traditional mid-paced speed. But most importantly, all of the tracks on the CD are very good. There are no weak tracks at all to be found on this release, which is a great surprise. Finally, Thunderstone has their most powerful and consistent CD to date.

After the very short and unnecessary intro, “Forevermore” kicks in and straightaway you hear and feel the newfound aggressiveness that is to be on the remainder of the CD. Furthermore, “Forevermore” is one of the better tracks on the CD. “10,000 ways” is another great song, full of emotion and some kickin’ riffs. One of the best tracks on the CD is called “Holding on to my pain”. It is also one of the most finest songs Thunderstone has ever done. It contains awesome riffs, excellent drumming and is topped off with Pasi’s exceptional and emotional vocals.

“Face in the mirror” is another exceptional track full of emotion, especially on the catchy chorus. It is just a shame that the track is very short, clocking in at just over 3 minutes. “Solid ground” is another standout track, while the 2nd of the best tracks on the CD is called “The source”. The chorus just slays on this track, with emotion flowing freely throughout.

I must say that I am still struck by the improvement from Thunderstone with their new release. I was happy with their previous CDs, but this release is by far a step above the rest. If you enjoyed any of their previous CDs, then ‘Evolution 4.0’ will completely make your day. Fans of the melodic metal genre should snap this release up as soon as you see it, cos you will not be disappointed. Fans of bands such as Sonata Arctica, Masterplan, Jorn Lande and Magnitude 9 will also be impressed with this CD. Thunderstone’s ‘Evolution 4.0’ is their best work to date and it really should not be missed. Well done, well done indeed.



SEAN




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