Conceived by Thunder – Timestopper (Self-Released)

Sunday, 17th July 2016
Rating: 7/10

Always yearning to discover the latest talent bubbling underground, this scribe stumbles upon the Tucson, Arizona thrash/ heavy metal quartet Conceived by Thunder. Forming last year, this debut EP Timestopper establishes these musicians finding where they wish to go in terms of a direction, always inherent when the first set of songs go through the development/recording process. First impressions can be lasting ones – and at this point in time, the band has a little work to do to shore up the overall output, although talent and promise certainly lie within these 5 tracks.

The cover art with a blue logo and white background against the woman’s face makes me think of the adult coloring trend evident in our current society – as in the band giving listeners the option to shade things how they wish if obtaining a physical edition of said EP. Guitarists Memo Garcia and Michael Chico inject a number of twin harmony elements that make “To Overcome” and the title cut appealing to Iron Maiden and Judas Priest fans, beyond the up-tempo riffing and speed drumming that has a natural Bay Area ethos (think Exodus, Metallica, Death Angel here). Conceived by Thunder differ from a lot of new generation thrash bands in the fact that they explore traditional heavy tempos and hooks just as often as they go for the all-out speed – “Lightning Child” for instance has a lot of that slower, NWOBHM groove elements with shredding leads, probably a solid toe-tapper when heard at peak volume live even when the bass transition galvanizes the cut to thrash propensities.

Where the band need to spruce up their songwriting and performances lies in the main vocals of Memo as well as some of the delivery aspects to the riff construction – the latter aspect at times can be too predictable as in the closer “The Wake”. Memo has one of those barking deliveries that needs to be more varied and forceful if the band wishes to elevate themselves in the genre – but that could just come down to more seasoning and natural evolution on his part. A year in, Timestopper establishes a melodic oriented thrash attack with room for improvement – and if willing to put the sweat equity in, Conceived by Thunder could strike out a lightning charge for the follow up within the metal community.

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