Thunderforge – Call of the Conqueror (Self-Released)

Tuesday, 2nd August 2016
Rating: 9.5/10

Integral to the success of any scene is a passion for not only your own craft, but genuine affinity and appreciation for others. Since first hearing the power metal wares of western Massachusetts band Thunderforge back in 2014, the band has continually honed their craft while playing out across New England, mixing up strong local appearances with opening for bands like Fates Warning, Symphony X, Overkill, Amaranthe and others. Several years in the making, their debut Call of the Conquerer EP hits the streets, offering five songs of highly engaging and diverse power metal that has wide ranging appeal for both the old school and new generation of fans.

An engaging guitar melody which builds into a stacked harmony section for guitarists Jules Conroy and Christian Morini alerts the listener that opener “Raiders of the Night” will march into your brain and gallop away at your favored Pharaoh/Iron Maiden preferences – a lot of the back and forth soloing tackling a ton of divebomb and tapping tricks from the best American and European influences possible. Picking up the intensity and pace, “Into the Fire” features the expressive and expansive nature of Thunderforge’s musicality – the interplay between bassist John McLaughlin and drummer Zac Curylo magical, while vocalist Adam Morini (he and Christian are brothers) gives an exemplary, roller coaster adventure through his multi-octave, classically trained range. Truly an aural adventure through its 6:22 playback that stays embedded over a few exposures – it’s the type of material that everyone into Helloween, Orden Ogan, Dragonforce, and others of that European ilk throw fists in the air and sing-a-long at the top of their lungs to.

Elsewhere the relatively straightforward main power riff to “Harbringer” brings the proceedings back into heavier, American-oriented territory, with Adam again gliding effortlessly and employing vocal harmonies that elevate the song to Queen heights. While throwing around a bevy of influences, let me make things abundantly clear – Thunderforge have assembled what they love about power metal (and music in general), but create something passionate and as much of their own as possible. The almost 8-minute epic “Sound the Horns” closer for instance contains Viking horns, a classical tip of the cap for guitar during one of the instrumental sections, a three-part a cappella harmony, quick give and take axe leads that rival Angra plus a final salvo that is sure to galvanize those into Pagan/folk nuances.

Thunderforge are the real deal – genuine about expressing power metal in their own way, delivering stunning songwriting and outstanding performances across the board. Call of the Conqueror is the first quest into worldwide ascension and hopeful long-term domination, the future looking very bright for this incredible quintet.

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