It was with much trepidation that I slipped the new Thunderstone CD, The Burning, into my stereo for the first time. Having been thoroughly unimpressed by the random tracks I had heard on samplers, and their incredibly flat rendition of “Wasted Years” from A Tribute to the Beast Vol. 2, I expected to yawn my way through this one.
Well, I was right and I was wrong. The Burning is essentially a mixed bag of generic power metal and shining moments, yet is still fairly derivative of the genre. At times they sound like Stratovarius; other times they sound like Primal Fear andsometimes they sound like both. It’s difficult to crucify them for that, though, as this genre is one where it is extremely difficult to create your own identity.
Tracks such as “Until We Touch the Burning Sun”, “Mirror Never Lies”, and “Forth Into the Black” are straight from the power metal handbook, as is the obligatory ballad “Sea of Sorrow”. Other tracks like “Break the Emotions”, “Tin Star Man”, and “Side by Side” have a little more balls to them, yet all still similar to the aforementioned bands, especially the Stratovarius-like keyboards.
There isn’t really much else to say here. It’s not really a bad disc, but we’ve heard all this stuff before – this just has a different vocalist and musical arrangements. Only hardcore power metal fans need worry about picking this disc up. The rest of you can ignore it.