A Sound of Thunder is a classic metal band that formed in, and is based in, Washington DC, which just so happens to be where I live for most of the year! The band has existed since 2008. During the last 5 years have released 3 full length albums and 2 EPs. That means the band has released music in every year they have existed! This includes a full length being released in 2011, 2012, and this year, 2013. Quite a prolific and impressive output. This year on June 4th, A Sound of Thunder released their newest offering “Time’s Arrow” through the label Mad Neptune.
“Time’s Arrow” is exactly what you would want from A Sound of Thunder. Just solid, fun, classic metal goodness all around. This is the kinda record that you listen when you just want to enjoy some music, not contemplate the properties of existence, or think about how much you hate society/religion, or debate which gory method of death is coolest. Nope, this is classic metal. “Time’s Arrow” is light-hearted in the most perfect way. Not that the lyrical content is juvenile or similar in any way to pop music’s lyrical content. I’m talking about vibe. This is an album for easy, fun listening.
Guitarist and, according to wikipedia, primary composer Josh Schwartz writes some killer riffs and melodies. A Sound of Thunder covers a lot of territory with their writing. There’s plenty of killer, groove orientated thrash riffs, ala ‘I Will Not Break,’ that amp up the heavy and remind of a more modern power metal band. This coupled with the really retro classic metal Schwartz dishes out provides enough variety to really keep “Time’s Arrow” from becoming a monotonous effort. Epic melodies can easily become tedious to listen to song after song, chorus after chorus. A Sound of Thunder does their best to stay true to their sound while keeping each track fresh.
The immense vocal talent and fantastic vocal melodies do a lot to keep this album interesting and catchy. A Sound of Thunder is a female fronted band. The immensely talented Nina Osegueda provides the powerful, soaring vocals found on “Time’s Arrow.” Osegueda, a former opera singer, is a fantastically talented singer. Her melodic skill and pitch accuracy is top notch. The melodies she lays down are so smooth and well executed. Her voice can easily cover a lot of ground when it comes to timbre. She’s not always belting vibrato laden high pitched vocals. Osegueda can always thrive within the mid and lower range of her voice. She adds some power to the music that female vocalists often simply can’t do. And when she does use that shrieking high voice, like in ‘Queen of Hell,’ it’s nuts.
“Time’s Arrow” certainly is well produced. The bass shines through when given the opportunities though I’d like to hear more of it. The guitar tone is perfect for the classic/power metal sound A Sound of Thunder goes for. The drums are perfectly present enough to give the band a solid groove. Osegueda’s vocals are very clearly in the forefront of the mix as they should be. The powerful, infectiously catchy melodies are what give these songs their immediate hooking power. However her voice is not overpowering in the mix. The guitars still sit comfortably in the audible spectrum. This means its easy to make out what Schwartz is actually playing. Something I really appreciate.
Proceeding “Time’s Arrow” earlier in 2013 was the “Queen of Hell” EP. This EP features the lead single, ‘Queen of Hell’ a bonus track, a Black Sabbath cover and another version of the single featuring guest vocals by Veronica Freeman. You can check this ep and “Time’s Arrow” out on spotify or you could head to the band’s website and pick up a copy if you’re in the mood for some ear pleasing melodies and classic metal. A Sound of Thunder has been going very strong for the past three years. “Time’s Arrow” is an impressive piece of work. Hopefully this band has a long and prosperous career. 8.5/10 for “Time’s Arrow.”