TNT – My Religion


Release Date: March 8, 2004

User Review
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For some, TNT is religion, and even an anti-religious man like myself – being a non-believer is also believing – says hallelujah when My Religion goes into the player. Fact is, TNT used to be my religion in the eighties, before Queensryche and Savatage invaded my speaker system, and today it’s still the closest I come to faith. TNT always had a few God-like musicians, a guitar/vocal chemistry that goes along with Page/Plant, Oliva/Oliva and Russel/Kendall, and backed up by a very solid rhythm section, with Diesel Dahl back behind the kit and Morty Black on bass and funny faces – this is in fact a religion easy to commend to.

TNT’s way back to their roots was a long one. The sidetracking started as early as 1992, when the band put out Realized Fantasies – a damn good album with lots of skillful playing and interesting ideas, but Ronni’s focus on solos and Harnell’s singing didn’t match the work from the mid-eighties. Tired of changing drummers more often than Spinal Tap, the band took a break. In the latter part of the nineties, Firefly and Transistor showed TNT making music with a grunge drummer, a good drummer – just not the right man for the band. These were solid records also, just not at all what people expected from the band.

So let’s leave the past on focus on My Religion – an album that will make most of the old fans change their underwear. Without basing my review on what Tony and Ronni tell you in our interview section, I can say that the guys are right on when they claim this CD is one foot in the now and the other in the past. Going even more retro would not be the right step for the band, while going more modern/up to date would be repeating Transistor – hell, the guys simply found the right formula to please old AND new fans, and even doing so by pleasing their own needed musical trademark and integrity. Hallelujah! (With sarcasm mode off, for a change!) TNT prove that they have a master degree in melodic rock, but most noticeable; the groove is back. (Grunge drummers do NOT groove!) Ronni Le Tekro mostly phoned in solos on the last three TNT records, but this time the man uses his fingers AND his innovative head. And speaking of groove, there is so incredibly much fat bottom in his sound, check out “Everything U R”, which is a Ronni-riff like no other. Also, he does more fills throughout the songs than before. (What the hell is Kirk Hammet doing on the cover of these guitar magazines?)

What songs are worth a mention? Hm, the whole damn lot. “Lonely Nights” defines catchy music, while “Invisible Noise” defines groove, just like the mentioned “Everything U R”. Two songs are from last year’s tasteful EP, and another two are instrumental pieces in a TNT tradition. “Everybody’s Got A Secret” (I don’t want any Halford-surprises, please!) and “You’ll Be There” are great pop/hardrock-songs – pop metal? “Perfectly” proves that TNT still knows how to write great ballads, while “Song 4 Dianne”, another ballad-like number, is as original as originality comes. No fillers, no bullshit, and sources say that the Japanese bonus track is one of the best songs on the album… (That’s when I say: Download!)

With lots of dominant and majestic guitar work and Tony singing like he still was 21 years old on My Religion, will this material sound as good live? The day before I did this review, I witnessed TNT play the album’s four first songs (plus “Seven Seas”) in a small club in Oslo, and they sounded tighter and groovier (hm, there’s that word again) than ever. Ronni’s guitar still has lots of detonations to do, Tony can still shatter beer glasses (though he controls himself more these days), and Morty and Diesel together make a difference indeed. Let’s gather all non-believers and pray that TNT’s work ethic and religion will last this time. HALLELUJAH!


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