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A Sound Of Thunder - "Out Of The Darkness" (CD)

A Sound Of Thunder - "Out Of The Darkness" CD cover image

"Out Of The Darkness" track listing:

1. The Day I Die
2. The Night Witch
3. Kill That Bitch
4. Murderous Horde
5. A Sound of Thunder
6. Out of the Darkness
7. Calat Alhambra
8. Fight Until the End
9. This Too Shall Pass
10. Discovery

Reviewed by on March 7, 2012

"With unstoppable vocals and a steady stream of changing styles, this is a standout release that belongs in the collection of just about any metal fan."

Showing off a different face of the female-fronted metal world, A Sound of Thunder’s “Out of the Darkness” is an unexpected knockout release helping to get 2012 off to a rocking start. Combining the feel of earlier incarnations of metal with incredibly powerful vocal work and some surprising twists into the symphonic and even prog rock, A Sound of Thunder has a strong and unique sound well worth hearing.

The band fills a very small niche in the heavy metal world, having a female vocalist who sings with a commanding and emotive voice. Her lyrical delivery is neither an Angela Gossow style growl nor a Tarja Turunen type of operatic singing, but instead has more in common with metal queen Doro. The vocals aren’t flat and unchanging, however, as Nina Osegueda soars up into power metal or dips down into a visceral yell when necessary.

Several of the album’s tracks have minor symphonic/gothic trappings along the lines of Nightwish or Epica, but honestly that’s window dressing. The core of the disc is full on traditional metal with a rock and roll feel that twists and turns into various other styles for a fascinating blend of musical ideas. The opening song for instance is a proper headbanger, but then halfway through a pipe organ style solo comes out of nowhere, suddenly transforming the track into a proggy dream that wouldn’t be out of place on an Opeth album. “This Too Shall Pass” completely changes the formula heard on previous songs, acting almost like an interlude with its stringed instruments and softer singing, except that it goes for a full five minutes.

The changes almost always work well, but there is a track that will likely be divisive for listeners not expecting one particular shift in direction. In a manner not far off from Steel Panther, the audience really has to be in on the joke to fully appreciate the tongue-in-cheek “Kill That Bitch.” While it happens to be a new favorite song for this particular reviewer, many others may fail to see the humor of lines like “I’m not asking you to go on a crime spree, just this once kill that bitch for me!” or “I’ve got more cajones than that whore!” Ah, unrequited love and how it affects the metal-inclined…

“Out of the Darkness” is infectious, fun, and never sticks to just one single sound. With unstoppable vocals and a steady stream of changing styles, this is a standout release that belongs in the collection of just about any metal fan.

Highs: Powering vocals with a wide range, lots of changes in musical style.

Lows: Some of the songs are a bit long and "This Too Shall Pass" is a bit on the soft side.

Bottom line: Traditional metal meets rock and roll with many other styles thrown in for good measure, all corralled by powerful female vocals from a new contender for 'queen of metal.'

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)