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Thunderbolt - Love & destruction 4.5/5

Reviewed: 7-14-06


1. Heavy metal thunder
2. Bad boys
3. Love & destruction
4. Hi-fidelity heartbreak
5. Metallic depression
6. It's a hard life (but...)
7. Call out the lions
8. We will survive
9. Sin, sex & spandex

First off, I don't have any idea what the meaning of the cover artwork is. Now keep in mind, I like pictures of naked women just as much as the next guy (or gal.... for the site's lesbian visitors), but it's surely more difficult for fans to guess what genre a CD is in (I would have guessed hard rock) with artwork like this. What's even more interesting, is the band's debut 'Demons and diamonds' featured an Asian chick with a sword on the cover and now we've got a white chick with a gun as the cover of this 2nd CD 'Love & destruction'. What's next, a black chick with a bottle of poison? Confusing, but that's where I come in, to give you all a musical description...

From Norway, Thunderbolt (with both of thier CDs) is definitely most comparable to Iron Maiden, but Wolf, Twisted Tower Dire, Made of Iron, Destillery, Fates Prophecy, Pharaoh, Mesmerize and Omen can be thrown in the mix as well. There's a dash of Martiria, Warlord and maybe Lost Fate, but I'm hesitant to even mention these bands, as Thunderbolt is much more upbeat and exiting. I will say the band should greatly impress fans of Bruce Dickinson, Blaze and Machine Men however, and finally, I will mention Running Wild and Iron Fire, as some of the guitar work (specifically on track 3 "Love & destruction" and track 7 "Call out the lions") reminds me of them.

Not only is Thunderbolt musically in line with the bands mentioned, but vocalist Tony Johannessen strongly mirrors Bruce Dickinson, complete with great range and a nice tone. And by now you've probably assumed you're going to get a dual guitar attack too, and this is certainly the case, as Cato Syversrud and Frank Johannessen (brother of vocalist Tony?) combine to provide us with a spectacular display of guitar work from the beginning of the CD to the end. Morten Eriksen's very present bass playing is nothing short of outstanding as well and the CD overall contains exceptional songwriting with catchy rhythms and strong choruses.

Every song on 'Love & destruction' is awesome, but I will single out track 2 "Bad boys" and track 8 "We will survive" as the highlights for me. No ballads exist and the CD remains enjoyable throughout, surpassing anything offered up by other newer bands in the style (Wolf, Pharaoh, Destillery, Made of Iron and so on). When glancing through my pile of recently purchased CDs a few weeks back, I never thought for a moment that this CD would be the next 2006 hit for me. Forget about Pharaoh folks, Thunderbolt is the next big band in the Iron Maiden style!




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