Release DetailsLABEL Nuclear Blast
RELEASED ON 6/28/2005
Tools Of Destruction
posted on 6/2005 By:
Tools of Destruction marks Thunderstone’s third offering of Finnish power metal, following 2002’s self titled debut and last year’s The Burning. This time out the band has modified their approach, playing power metal through a filter of melodic, 80’s inspired pop metal. The album sounds great; the band sounds great, the songs…not so much. Will slick sounding production and quality musicianship and vocals make up for sub par, derivative songwriting? Well, probably so, at least for some. There seems to be no shortage of fans that either can’t tell good song writing from otherwise, or are simply willing to put up with a hell of a lot of cheese in order to get their musical fixes. Of course, if we all had to throw out our albums that are derivative and rife with clichés, we’d have a lot more time to get into jazz, like we keep promising ourselves. The problem here is that Thunderstone’s source material was cliché and cheesy twenty years ago—it’s not like they’re scavenging the well picked bones of Reign in Blood. The chorus of “Another Time” is pure Damn Yankees—and that’s just not good for anyone.
Despite some creative limitations, Thunderstone clearly has a lot to offer fans of power metal and polished, melodic heavy music. Their midtempo riffing and keyboard work, and mammoth choruses pack the balance of punch and accessibility required for the style, and are a lock to illicit some major sing alongs, if somewhat less headbanging. Some of the stronger moments include “Tool of the Devil” (but talk about a misnomer) and the more typical power metal of “Without Wings”. “Welcome to the Real” has a strong Dio flavor, and the Japanese version of Tools of Destruction will include a cover of Dio’s “Rainbow in the Dark”. Guitarist Nino Laurenne litters the album with well placed and tasteful solos, and front man Pasi Rantanen has a strong voice that’s well suited to the material. But one of the album’s key liabilities is the trite lyrics. It’s one hackneyed phrase after another, like some hair metal magnetic poetry. Again, metal lyrics in general are rarely impressive, but this style puts them right out front, making their shortcomings all too apparent.
Fans of both power metal and late 80’s hard rock and metal-lite should check out some samples of Tools of Destruction, as there is enough right with this album that many listeners will overlook its shortcomings. With some content improvement, Thunderstone seems entirely capable of producing some genre topping work.
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