THUNDERSTONE - TOOLS OF DESTRUCTION - NUCLEAR BLAST
My first meeting with Finland's hard rocking five Thunderstone is an unexceptional frolic through the woods of Finnish melodic hard pomp rock. Despite the album's extremist title Thunderstone is all about commercial possibilities and agreeable melodies, but commits a couple of heavy metal faux pas to give back marks. The best thing about the quintet is the vocal phrasing and energy of Pasi Rantanen who sounds like the offspring of Stratovarius singer Timo Kotipelto, Jorn Lande and Glenn Hughes. The songs are not overly appealing, but Pasi is certainly more lively and stimulating than the instrumentalists. For one, the guitar sound is thin and subdued, the drums are often plodding and, while the bass is often pumping, the songs blend into one another were it not for the disparate vocal styles. The bass often exposes the diminished rhythm guitar sound, for example. The band has hard and heavy moments, ballads, the commonplace Finnish keyboards (snore) and progressive flair ups, and overall reminds me of the old German act Craft, Stratovarius, Queensrÿche and the recent Ben Jackson Group album. - Ali "The Metallian"