Thunderstone

Thunderstone – Apocalypse Again Review

Thunderstone – Apocalypse Again Review

Thunderstone have been around for 15 or so years and for most of that time they’ve labored in the shadow of fellow countrymen Stratovarius. It’s not hard to see why either, since their debut was such a carbon copy of their bigger, better peers. Over time they developed a bit more of a unique identity and proved themselves capable of crafting rollicking Euro-power tunes with big payoff choruses.” Is the apocalypse back again? I thought we sprayed!

Masterplan – Novum Initium Review

Masterplan – Novum Initium Review

“Originally conceived as a super group-ish side project for Helloween‘s Uli Kusch and Roland Grapow, Masterplan soon became the duo’s main gig after their ignominious firing by those silly Germanic Pumpkin rockers. Although they planned to have the Lordly Russel Allen as the singer, they instead released two solid albums of melodic power metal helmed by the mighty Jorn Lande (yes AMG, we know you don’t think he’s that mighty). While Jorn left, then rejoined to record the less than stirring Time to Be King opus, it appears he left yet again, as Novum Initium features the talents of the well-travelled Rick Altzi (ex-At Vance, ex-Thunderstone, Herman Frank).” Are you sick of hearing about how awesome Jorn is? Apparently Masterplan is too, since they seem determined to beat him at his own hard rocking game. But can they bring as much heavy rock to the land as Jorn can?

Vision Divine – Destination Set to Nowhere Review

Vision Divine – Destination Set to Nowhere Review

When I was an Angry Metal Lad I discovered what was then the burgeoning europower scene in the late 90s early aughts. Deeply influenced by the likes of RageHelloween, and Stratovarius I began to be taken in by any band that had a lot of double bass, virtuoso keyboard and guitar solos and a dude who sang moderately operatically but wasn’t too annoying. This held me over for a long time, discovering bands that still stick with me to today as some of my favorites including [Luca Turilli’s] Rhapsody [of Fire]Blind Guardian, Sonata Arctica and myriads of others (as well as their aforementioned influences). But like any scene, this one had its boundaries and excesses and after a while I started to get bored. In that process, I missed Vision Divine – an Italian power metal band that includes Rhapsody‘s vocalist Fabio Lione who released their first record in 1999.

Thunderstone – Dirt Metal Review

Thunderstone – Dirt Metal Review

Whenever an established band parts ways with their original vocalist and brings in a replacement, long time fans rightfully get concerned. How will the new singer impact the band’s sound and style? Will he fit in or change the dynamic too much? That’s the situation facing Finland’s Thunderstone for their fifth album, Dirt Metal. After four pretty solid albums of Euro power metal with original frontman Pasi Rantanen, Dirt Metal starts the era of Rick Altzi on vocals. With this new era also comes the much dreaded and despised shift in sound and approach as well. Are you scared? Are you on edge yet? Read on.