Thunder and Lightning – Demonicorn (Self-Released)Sunday, 8th December 2019
Perpetually under-rated, in regards to some of the larger names within the power metal genre, Germany’s Thunder and Lightning have pumped out some consistently quality releases over the years. With continued crowdfunding support behind them (a testament to their abilities), Demonicorn is their fifth full-length effort, and the first since 2016’s The Ages Will Turn. In short, they’ve continued to focus and refine themselves to provide an exciting and powerful release of power metal that’s worth checking out.
The formula isn’t really too far removed from what we’ve seen from Thunder and Lightning in the past, and nor does it need to be. They are comfortable in their own mold, with a take on power and melodic metal that has plenty of bite to it, and no real odor of the cheesiness that can often accompany a band of this ilk. They continue to use driving and forceful heaviness (see closer “Telltale Signs” as ample evidence, even with a few blastbeats) and thrash-y tempos with vigor to get their point across. But they aren’t going to provide a one-note experience either, with plenty of varied tempos – from some stern mid-tempo riffs with a focus on elegant melodies to more gentle introductions (“God for a Day”) as well as the more high-energy stuff. What stands out the most with this release is how tight the entire album is. With about a 40-minute runtime, they have really trimmed the fat off of the songs themselves and deliver a product that can essentially come at the listener with full force (with the aforementioned dynamics). Catchy leads, some epic melodies and choruses, and of course, Norman Dittmar’s charismatic and quickly identifiable vocals. His voice stands out with it’s power, and between that and the band’s full-throttle tendencies, it truly helps them stand out among the melodic crowd.
Demonicorn offers the same energetic thrill and ear-pleasing melodies as previous Thunder and Lightning releases. With a clear focus on what works best for the band and hyper-focused songwriting, it feels like their strongest effort to date – beating this scribe’s previous benchmark of In Charge of the Scythe. Melodic and power metal fans can’t go wrong with this one.