Thaurorod – Coast of Gold (Drakkar Entertainment)Friday, 23rd February 2018
What is a Thaurorod? Glad you asked… it’s a band name in Quenya, a fictional language spoken by elves in Tolkien’s books meaning ‘evil mountain’. Active since 2002 and releasing a series of demos before signing with NoiseArt, who released their earlier albums Upon Haunted Battlefields (2010) and Anteinferno (2013) – this Finnish sextet took a few years to pull together their third record Coast of Gold. Featuring drummer Joonas Pykälä-aho and guitarist Emppu of Amberian Dawn amongst the membership, it’s a treasure trove for those who love a dramatic form of power metal that has the right progressive/ symphonic twists while the fantasy stories, speed riffs, and high-octane melodies/harmonies reign supreme.
Galloping guitars, alluring keyboards, and 200 BPM + tempos of course make for easy Dragonforce comparisons – as we ‘walk through the fire’ to ‘banish the eternal light’ on “Feed the Flame” – but there’s a proper sense of tighter compositions and attention to key hooks of a controlled variety that should keep Thaurorod from being a mere clone or shred-only act. Blast beats and folk-infections plus a stirring, culturally driven bass line make “Cannibal Island” a second half favorite – vocalist Andi Kravljaca possessing that grit and soaring bard presence to captivate in a stronger Blind Guardian meets Orden Ogan vein. How can you not smile as a power maven to the keyboard/guitar action and sinister melodies within “Power” and “My Sun Will Rise” – the latter containing adequate pirate size background vocal accompaniment plus the quick hitting guitar melodies that tug at every air simulation audience members crave to replicate. The group also know how to switch up straightforward, quicker hitting material with the occasional epic effort, as the seven-minute plus “Illuminati” features longer, atmospheric build-ups in the transitions before the mid-tempo main sections ensure headbanging or upper register sing-a-long action.
A minor disappointment though lies in the overall guitar sound for the record – this scribe would have preferred something slightly thicker/heavier, as it’s very thin and lacking some of that punch versus the keyboard and synthetic kick action that takes place. Taken as a whole, Coast of Gold lives for bombastic power metal with just the right amount of diversity and dynamics to gain major approval from all the Scandinavian brigade, plus those who want some folk and progressive aspects to their beer swilling good times.