Four for victory!
-- Thorium --
|■||Kurk "Stripe" Lawless||Bass|
|■||Louis Van der Linden||Drums|
[METAL SHREDDER REPORTING]
I first heard of Thorium from my buddies at Hard Life Promotion as well through the band members themselves. I’ve known Dario, Stripe and Tom from back in their Ostrogoth days so I was very curious to hear what they were up to when I had read the news that this fabulous trio were forging their own creative paths. So here we are, Thorium’s much awaited first set of material has arrived! Let’s check it out!
[THE SHREDDING BASICS]
The eponymous debut album from the Belgian heavy metal band Thorium is released through Belgian record label Empire Records. As I mentioned earlier, Thorium is the new project from ex-Ostrogoth band members Dario Frodo, Kurk “Stripe” Lawless and Tom Tee and their experiences and influences from Ostrogoth are clearly heard throughout their self-titled album. Similar to Ostrogoth, Thorium plays a classic heavy metal sound inspired by NWOBHM as well as power, progressive and speed metal. If you like Ostrogoth then you’ll surely enjoy this band just as much! The guys play with a finesse, energy and tightness up to par with their iconic former band. Dario and Tom unleash some truly epic guitar solos, vocalist David has a vocal range comparable to Ostrogoth’s current singer Josey Hindrix and combined with the hard-hitting drum and bass beats you end up with a real sonic rollercoaster! Thorium is at times gentle and soft-spoken and at other times full of bombastic fury! It’s a damn good ride!
[THE SHREDDING VISION AND THEMES]
Thorium pays a lot of homage to Ostrogoth with similar themes like warfare, history, and a song dedicated to the historic Ostrogoth tribe itself! Hell, there even is a song called Return To The Clouds which serves as a spiritual sequel to the song Clouds from Ostrogoth’s 2015 EP Last Tribe Standing, with a similar opening melody and pacing. As for the cover art, well, I’ve got a few things to say about that. Rather blunt things, actually, coming up in a minute, but first the good stuff…
[THE SHARPEST SHREDS AND THE BLUNTEST BLADES]
I have several favorites on Thorium’s debut such as the catchy and highly motivational fourth track called Godspeed and the adrenaline-pumping penultimate song Return to The Clouds! But my top pick goes to the 15-minute finale by the name of Four By Number, Four By Fate! A track reminiscent of the classic Iron Maiden epics like Rime Of The Ancient Mariner, Alexander The Great and Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son! A song filled with a plethora of different tunes and atmospheres, wherein acoustic guitar, galloping bass lines (hi, Maiden!), soaring vocals and guitar riffs and thrash metal inspired sections take turns in giving you one last, full taste of Thorium’s power before leaving you begging for more!
As for the album’s main weakness, although there isn’t a particular track that I would consider to be vastly inferior compared to the others on the album, I do give the “honor” to the album’s cover art! Thorium’s logo has a nice metallic look (again, the 1980s) but the background is just a shroud of white and grey clouds and looks way too generic for me! In fact, since the album pays such a big tribute to Ostrogoth, I would have loved seeing the front cover depicting the city of Paris by night with a gigantic full moon and a huge scorpion on top of the Eiffel Tower! Yup, if you know your Ostrogoth lore, then you’re fully aware of what famous Ostrogoth songs I’ve just referred to! In any case, this is just a minor thing, and this Thorium debut rightfully deserves…
[THE SHREDDER’S SCORECARD]
9 full moon’s eyes out of 10! An impressive first release from a young ensemble of highly experienced musicians who are definitely delivering the goods here! Thorium is a band and album that I can warmly recommend to any fun-loving rock- or metalhead out there! Ostrogoth may not be releasing any new material anytime soon, but their “offspring” by the name of Thorium is sure to give you one hell of a rock fever! Here's Godseed!