A Sound of Thunder came to my attention last year with the release of the stunning Out of the Darkness. I said that after listening to that album it would be hard not to become a fan, and their new EP Queen of Hell confirms that statement and solidifies the high opinion that I have of this band. Made up Nina Osegueda (vocals), Justin Schwartz (guitar), Chris Haren (drums), and Jesse Keen (bass), A Sound of Thunder is a band that should be in the minds and ears of every metal fan. At slightly over 20 minutes in run time, Queen of Hell does what some bands fail to do with a full-length release.
Making use of the limited space to make an impression, “Queen of Hell (Album Version)” wastes no time to get things rocking. This creepy opening leads into a crowd of chanting before the queen announces her presence. The song’s energy is electrifying and so contagious that I am ready to give my allegiance and service to the Queen. “Hello Nurse” tells a wicked tale wrapped in smooth melodic rock. It reminds me a bit of Helloween’s “Mr. Torture” with its playfulness and there is a cool piano part backed by some blazing guitars. The song’s sense of humor will bring a smile to those with a more macabre sensibility.
Next up is a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Trashed” from their 1983 album Born Again based on a car accident of then leader singer Ian Gillian. Its sense of manic energy will go straight to your bones. In this alternative version of the title track, “Queen of Hell (ft. Veronica Freeman)” lacks the atmospheric opening and the chanting, yet it retains the energy. I prefer the album version, but this one still rocks pretty hard.
A Sound of Thunder’s Queen of Hell is a worthy follow-up to 2012’s Out of the Darkness. It looks like they are making quite the remarkable discography for themselves. I am excited for their next full-length album. They consistently good quality of songs from Out of the Darkness and Queen of Hell bode well for the future of this band. Long live the queen!
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Brian McKinnon – Sr. MuzikReviews.com Staff
January 23, 2013