Massacre Records
Release date: May 31, 2004

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Put Helstar and Destiny’s End together and what do you get? Distant Thunder!

Old James Rivera fans no longer need to despair. He’s back with the album Welcome the End with his new band Distant Thunder. They deliver an extremely even, well-played, American Power Metal album. It’s very guitar-based, and if you like the stuff Mr. Rivera has done in the past, then you’ll definitely like this one.

The three first songs bare a strong resemblance to old Iron Maiden material. “The Day Upon You” even features a scary “Eddie”-like voice.

The instrumental song, also called “Distant Thunder,” is a clear winner on this album! If this song doesn’t make you regret cutting off your long hair during the 1990s, then nothing will. This is what makes you thank God for Heavy Metal! Just listening to Mike Lepond on bass, and Eric Halpern and Gregg Hill on the guitars, makes you realize that Distant Thunder indeed has put together an immensely talented team!!

Other “goldies” on this album include songs like “Lost In Time,” “Soulless Inventions,” and “Beyond The Black Fields Of Stars.” It’s amazing to hear how James Rivera’s voice switches from sounding like Bruce Dickinson to Geoff Tate (among others!). It’s clear he has developed his vocal range and dares to push himself further and further since his days with Destiny’s End.

Unfortunately, the “screaming” backing vocals destroy some of Rivera’s efforts. Luckily, that is the only negative thing that can be said about this album. It’s clear these guys are great musicians and that they know how to handle their instruments well.

One final note … also featured on “Welcome the End” is the old Helstar track “Run With The Pack” and Accept’s “Restless & Wild.”

Enjoy the Thunder!


  • Anne-Lene Rodahl

    Anne-Lene was a reviewer and interviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Oslo, Norway, and she was the first ”gal” on board!

    View all posts

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