THUNDERBOLT – Demons And Diamonds

THUNDERBOLT - Demons And Diamonds


Release date: June 23, 2006

User Review
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Addiction has always been an issue with Rock ‘n’ Roll, either it’s sex, drugs, children, animals, or whatever… Rock and Metal musicians have a history with obsessions – and in many cases these obsessions have had a major impact on the artist’s music. What would Jimi Hendrix have been without his dope, Michael Jackson without his naked children, or Lemmy of Motörhead without his Jack Daniels – nothing much, of course. Anyway, listening to the second full-length album of Norwegian Metallers Thunderbolt, it soon becomes obvious that these aspiring musicians also carry a major obsession, or addiction it you’d like, with them: the band Iron Maiden.

If you’re already familiar with the band, you would know that half of the band is involved in Norway’s foremost Maiden tribute act, and that Paul Di’Anno also hires the band to back him up on frequent occasions. This could all be very well except that – as some of you may have feared already – Thunderbolt sounds e-x-a-c-t-l-y like the poor man’s Maiden copy all feared they would. This album has very little on offer except for worn-out Maiden tribute riffs and forgettable tunes. The title track, “Hi-Fidelity Heartbreak,” and “Sin, Sex & Spandex” are the best of the lot, but although relatively enjoyable at the first instant, none of them manage to create any further joy (or better still – cause to reach for the “repeat” button).

What Thunderbolt has, though, is a phenomenal singer. Yes, both Di’Anno and Bruce Dickinson are obvious comparisons, but Tony Johannessen competes well with both of ’em – his powerful voice is the one good thing about this album, but then again it is truly fantastic. His multiple-octave range and tasty vibrato compares among the very best in Heavy Metal today, and the stream of fab-Norwegian Metal singers doesn’t seem to come to an end. The instrumentalists do their stuff entirely okay, and it is not the playing that ruins this album, but a bit more flair and energy wouldn’t do any harm.

It would be wrong to say that this is a horrible album, because it’s not (compared to what’s released these days), but the word “average” is sadly well-suited for describing the musical contents of Love And Destruction (then again, that’s just as frustrating to hear for any musician, I suppose). The title itself is also fairly offbeat; this music is not designed to create either love or destruction – Metal-muzak is what this is. Sorry fellas, and especially you, Tony, as you do a phenomenal job, after all, but this is just not good enough. Toothpaste is more addictive than this album.


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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