Released by: Mad Neptune Records
Release Date: 15 June 2018
Genre: Heavy Metal
Vocals: Nina Osegueda
Guitars & Keyboards: Josh Schwartz
Bass & Keyboards: Jesse Keen
Drums & Percussion: Chris Haren
1. Phantom Flight (featuring Mark Tornillo)
4. The Crossroads Deal
5. It Was Metal
6. Obsidian & Gold (Desdinova Returns) (featuring Tony Carey)
7. Second Lives
8. Els Segadors (The Reapers)
10. Charles II
11. Fortress of the Future Race
Mortality is something we all have to face one day or another. As time marches on those people in our lives that have made a major impact on us, whether they’re in our lives personally or entertainers, at some point will cease to be in our lives- and I’m not even talking strictly about death, though clearly, that is the finality of it all. I’ve been reflecting a lot on the fact that so many of the bands I have loved for all of my life are starting to dwindle and retire (some already have,) and since music is such an integral part of my life it makes me wonder: what’s next? Will there be any more bands like Sabbath, Priest, and Slayer that will make not only an impact on music but defining actual subgenres within? The answer, quite simply is, who knows? Talk about fickle, the world of music is easily one of the most fickle businesses out there. Not much else can propel you to the stratosphere and nearly immediately plummet you back to obscurity faster than music (and this isn’t counting actual members doing and saying shit that ostracizes them.) Where one album you sell millions upon millions and follow it up with one that is an instant bargain bin dweller, music is not an easy career choice. Though there may never be any bands as significant to the industry as the aforementioned, there will definitely be bands that will carry on the mantle of The Metal. And one of those bands, beyond a shadow of a doubt that is ready, willing, and able to take that mantle is Washington D.C.’s very own A Sound of Thunder. Rooted in that classic metal sound, ASoT is a fearless band, willing to go the length to not only create music that is exactly what metal fans crave, but willing to go the extra mile for those fans.
Coming onto my radar in 2014 when they opened for Raven during their promotional tour for Time’s Arrow, I was instantly blown away by the fact that this was an in your face, highly charged metal band featuring one of the few female singers that can sing with such power and ferocity without having to growl or conversely rely on an operatic voice (both which seem to be where most females fall towards in the metal world,) but at the same time has the ability to convey aggression and beauty without missing a beat. Their latest album, It Was Metal, is an unabashed metallic assault that proudly raises the flag of metal. From album opener “Phantom Flight” featuring vocals from Accept’s Mark Tornillo, you know that this album is going to melt your face. Seriously, journalists (myself included) hail a new album from a band as the best thing they’ve done so far, and sometimes we’re right and sometimes not so much, but It Was Metal is easily the best album from this band thus far, and a contender for Album of the Year. Nina’s vocals get better and stronger with time, Josh’s guitar work continues to inspire, Jesse’s bass playing and Chris Haren’s drums continue to take metal into new directions. It also doesn’t suck to be joined by folks like Tornillo and Tony Carey of Rainbow fame adding their strokes to it. There is literally not a bad song on this album, at least to my ears; from their brilliant take of “El Segadors (The Reapers)” the Catalan National Anthem (which the band got to perform in Spain, their first jaunt outside the U.S.,) to the masterful title track foretelling the coming of The Metal to the spectacular album closer “Fortress of the Future Race” ASoT are unrelenting in showing their heavy metal supremacy.
Will A Sound of Thunder achieve immortality in the pantheon of the Metal Gods? Only time will tell, but as long as they keep releasing albums as stunning as It Was Metal, and continue to fly the Metal flag, they just might. Scoff if you will, but ASoT is prepared to slay posers around the world for that which they hold so dearly. I’m just glad to be able to enjoy their excellent music and catch them live from time to time. If you love metal, It Was Metal is the album for you.
Written by: Chris Martin