THUNDER – The Magnificent Seventh

THUNDER - The Magnificent Seventh


Frontiers Records
Release date: February 21, 2005

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British quintet Thunder is well established, having been around for more than 15 years and with a discography now counting 7 studio albums. Their latest album, modestly titled The Magnificent Seventh, is kept safely within their Classic British Rock style and is thus a safe bet for any fan. But what have they got to offer for the rest of us?

The Magnificent Seventh is made up of 11 songs and they are all well made and well played, but without any edge of innovation or deep core soul. The melodies are mostly simple, straightforward, catchy and with a good sing-a-long feeling. The guitar work is rock solid, although quite predictable when it comes to solos. The drums and bass are just doing their job and make no attempt to steal your attention away from the band’s biggest asset: the vocals. Danny Bowes is an excellent singer, surely influenced by past and present fellow countrymen, however with a soulful touch of his own.

Starter “I Love You More Than Rock ‘n’ Roll” is the first single off the album and probably the most radio friendly track on board. It has a distinct signature and slips nicely into your head with its Blues-meets-Grunge kind of feel. Its length is perhaps a bit over the top for radio (clocks in on 4:44 minutes), but it’s perfect for a live performance. In fact, most of their songs are little too long for commercial radio, and perhaps that’s why they’ve missed out on so much airplay ever since they started.

The next track worth mentioning is “Monkey See, Monkey Do,” which has a very strong Led Zeppelin influence. “Amy’s On The Run,” which comes after the pale and disappointing ballad “I’m Dreaming Again,” has a main riff which is easily associated with a rather famous Shania Twain song. Actually, quite a few of the songs have a little Country-Pop garnish here and there. So, along with the Western movie cover theme, one is left wondering if this is a less subtle move into a new genre for Thunder…

The first foot-stomping song comes along in track 9, “You Can’t Keep A Good Man Down.” It’s got a good boogie grove and a very catchy verse that unfortunately leads to a less catchy chorus. However, the chorus grows along the way and it’s supported by the album’s best guitar solo. Also track 10, “One Foot In The Grave,” is foot-stomping material. It starts off with a very Bluesy acoustic guitar, but goes electric and turns punchy and hot on the way. It’s probably the best track.

Closing the show is “One Fatal Kiss.” It has a much more fresh and open sound than the other tracks, and that makes for a memorable track, thanks to its catchy melody. It is, however, spoiled by an absurd keyboard effect and a chorus not matching the level of the verse.

Mentioned earlier was the “well made and well played” brand of all songs on this album. Production is also very neat, but, all in all, one is left with a feeling that this is perhaps a bit too neat, too well made, and too well played. One should expect this music to grab you by the collar and lift you off the ground. Instead, you get just a gentle tap on the shoulder. Sure, the foot-stomping highlights could carry you away on a good day, but with a simple wink of the eye you are down on the same old ground again.

Supposedly, Thunder’s performance at the 1990 Donington Monsters Of Rock Festival was unforgettable for anyone present there that day. The Magnificent Seventh is less likely to be equally remembered, since there is little or no material fitting into the timeless classic department. Still, Thunder make an honest effort keeping Rock alive … and who knows, maybe they do have something to offer for those outside their hardcore group of fans?

Anyway, be sure to check out Thunder’s homepage, as they have the most extensive and detailed history section ever!


  • Frode Leirvik

    Frode was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Norway. His headbanging experience started when his brother-in-law gave him Deep Purple’s Fireball at the age of ten. Since then, he has also been a fan of and active in several other musical genres, resulting in a deep and profound interest in music. Some of his favorites, among all of those who have somehow managed to tap into the universal force of Progressive Music are (in no particular order): Thule, Dream Theater, King Crimson,Pink Floyd, Rush, Spock’s Beard, Jan Hammer and Jerry Goodman, Ekseption, Focus, The Beatles, Deep Purple and Frank Zappa.

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