Thunderbolt - _Inhuman Ritual Massmurder_
(Agonia records, 2004)
by: Quentin Kalis (7.5 out of 10)
Previously, Thunderbolt was regarded as part of Poland's NSBM scene, even featuring on the cult _The Night and the Fog_ NSBM compilation. But that was several years back, and _IRM_-- their fourth full-length -- is a far cry from their early days. No longer content to perform NSBM or even plain Satanic black metal, Thunderbolt have opted for a sound strongly based in death metal, undergoing a conversion which will inevitably be compared to the metamorphosis undergone by Polish brethren Behemoth. This was not an entirely unforeseen move; they had been steadily moving away from the black metal for a while. In addition, there are definite similarities between _IRM_ and their previous material, such as the use of atmospheric acoustic interludes. A less superfluous parallel is the unexpectedly good drumming, but while the drumming had a surprising prominence on previous material and consequently sounded slightly incongruous, the music appears to have, for want of a better term, "caught up" with the drumming and sounds much richer. A noticeably stronger production didn't harm either, providing the clarity of sound needed to produce a top notch death metal album. The vocals are now a deeper but above average growl. Essentially, this is a significant improvement over their early material, which at the best of times, was merely above average. But Thunderbolt have stepped into a different arena and if they want to join the ranks of Behemoth or even Vader they will need to produce an album that is not merely good but truly excellent.

(article published 13/12/2004)


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7/21/2005 Q Kalis Thunderbolt: Diabolic Revelations
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