Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Sound of Thunder Emerge Out Of The Darkness On New Album

I just love it when I stumble upon a new group that I haven’t heard of before and they totally blow me away. The D.C. based metal band A Sound of Thunder did just that when I listened to the opening track on their new album Out of the Darkness. One song, that’s all it took for me to know that I was listening to something special.

The band consists of Jesse Keen on bass, Chris Haren on drums, John Schwartz on guitar and Nina Osegueda on vocals. I know, I know, you’re probably saying ‘Oh great, another female fronted metal band’, but this is different and so is Nina. The band has a sound that is familiar, but at the same time is a breath of fresh air. They combine killer riffs and pounding drums with catchy hooks and a vocal delivery that is out of this world.

The album opens with “The Day I Die” and you can immediately tell that this band was influenced by Black Sabbath. The guitar riff at the beginning of the song is very Sabbathesque with its dark and brooding feel. Then, Nina’s vocals kick in and you are totally floored. The sheer power and conviction of her voice commands your attention. The song has an awesome breakdown at the 5 minute mark where it really gets that early Sabbath vibe going. The song clocks in at over eight minutes in length, but it flows so smoothly that it never seems to get boring.

“The Nightwitch” has a cool little intro that sounds like something out of a Freddie Krueger movie. Nina’s vocal delivery is soft and gentle and you think you are in for a ballad. Then, guitarist Josh Schwartz shows up and kicks the door down with a hot riff and totally changes the landscape of the song. Josh really shines on this track throughout with some solid fretwork along with a smoking hot solo thrown in for good measure.

“Kill That Bitch” is, as twisted as this may sound, a fun little song that showcases a more playful side to the band. The plot is pretty simple: you’re with a girl and another girl wants you and for that to happen you just need to ‘kill that bitch for her’. The lyrics are tongue in cheek and not meant to be taken seriously…..I think. I couldn’t help but hear shades of Lzzy Hale from Halestorm in this song.

“Out of the Darkness” features a guest appearance by Raven vocalist/bassist John Gallagher. This song definitely screams old school metal reminiscent of the mighty Iron Maiden. The song kicks ass from the killer riff to kick it off to Nina’s powerful last note to end it. “Calat Alhambra” starts off with a nice piano intro and then shifts gears and the band flat out rock on this one. Again, it’s a throwback to the sound of Iron Maiden that would even have Mr. Dickinson throwing up his horns in approval.

“This Too Shall Pass” is a beautiful ballad that shows off the softer side of the band of vocalist Nina Osegueda. Her delivery brings out the raw emotion and feelings in the lyrics. The addition of a string section is a major bonus to the song and adds a wonderful layer to this already amazing song. It also shows the depth and versatility that this band has to offer.

I think this album is solid from beginning to end. Josh Schwartz is a beast on the guitar and displays some very interesting and unique riffs throughout the album. The rhythm section of Chris Haren on drums and Jesse Keen on bass is as tight and solid as any other unit in music today. Then there’s vocalist Nina Osegueda. This woman has so many guns in her arsenal. She embodies power, passion, sensitivity and aggression that a lot of singers would kill for. If Rob Halford and Bruce Dickinson had a love child, then she would definitely be it! Do yourself a favor and check this album out before the band blows up big. You need to jump on this bandwagon because it’s going to fill up quick!

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