Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Album Review: A Sound of Thunder, Tales From the Deadside

"When the clock strikes midnight
and you hear the bell toll...."

Once again, something great has come out of our nation's capital. But, it isn't a policy that would do something good for the country. Its a badass band called A Sound of Thunder; a female fronted, wickedly awesome prog metal band from Washington DC that has just released a concept album masterpiece. Their album, Tales From the Deadside is based on the Valient Entertainment  comic Shadowman. The cover is Shadowman's nemesis, Master Darque. The band launched a successful Kickstarter campain to fund this album, and they believe it is their best album to date. And, that's saying a lot because the last album I reviewed for them was extremely stellar. 

Really, to say that any one song in particular has great guitar, bass, drums, and vocals would be a bit redundant. The band is extremely talented, and it shows in every song. Josh Schwartz is a guitar god. Nina Osegueda is a 5'2" powder keg of vocal ability that explodes in every song. She can sing like a songbird...A songbird that can sing a sweet lullaby, then in an instant, mutates into a Godzilla sized monster that screams like a banshee. Looks are definitely deceiving in her case. The rhythm section of Jesse Keen on bass, and Chris Haren on drums sound like one instrument...One powerful instrument that could be compared to Thor's Hammer.

A Sound of Thunder: Jesse Keen, Chris Haren, Nina Osegueda, Josh Schwartz

The songs on the album begin with quotes from the Shadowman comics about what the story's hero and villain are doing. I'm a bit down on concept albums. There are many that are done, but only a few that are done well. Tales From the Deadside is done VERY well. The story is easy to follow, and the music flows as easily as the story. It opens with Children of the Dark, which is a hard driving groove. A great selection to open the album. All the songs on the album are title track worthy, meaning that there are no filler songs. Really, this album has everything. From the driving metal skull crushers like track 4, Deadside and track 9, Tremble to the progressive flow of harmony guitar and vocals of track 6, Losing Control, to the roller coaster ride of saxy jazz, metal, and speak easy type playful vocals on track 7, Punk Mambo. That song is incredible. And, what would a concept album story that takes place in New Orleans be without jazz? Not sure who played the saxophone, but that person is very good. 

All styles of heavy metal are represented, and represented very well. Even the heavy groove aspect in track 8, Alyssa (Life in Shadows)  and, the dark, slow, deep and creepy Black Sabbath style in track 10, End of Times. But, it all has the sound and style that is uniquely A Sound of Thunder.

You owe it to yourself to grab this album. Its nothing short of spectacular. Josh Schwartz is right. Best album yet. And, A Sound of Thunder has outdone themselves with each new album, so I think my head might melt if they are able to top this one. 

And one last thing...If someone makes a Shadowman movie, this album had BETTER be the soundtrack.

The band is touring extensively, so be sure to catch them then they come your way. And pick up Tales From the Deadside on Amazon, Google Play, or wherever you buy music.

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