Thunder and Lightning – The Ages Will Turn (Self-Released)Monday, 16th January 2017
First discovering Germany’s Thunder and Lightning with their third and previous album, the conceptual In Charge of the Scythe, the band was an instant winner due to their combination of a heavier approach with Iced Earth-esque riffing and Norman Dittmar’s charismatic vocals. They released an EP between albums, but you could say that The Ages Will Turn has been somewhat of a wait – though they did release a lyric videos once a month prior to the album’s release to generate some buildup and anticipation.
All of the strong points of Scythe are present (minus the concept album approach – but the subjects here are equally interesting), and Thunder and Lightning’s fourth album is more of a refinement than an overhaul of the system. Most of the band’s material, which happens to be one of the strongest points, is that they go from the mid-tempo to faster speeds for the most part, happy to dole out fistpumping anthems (“Eternally Awake”) and thrashier cuts (“Silent Waters”) with glee. There’s a playfulness to the riffing, and while they sit on the heavier end of the traditional/power end of the spectrum, the band should have no problem ensnaring fans of either genre. If anything, it helps to differentiate them from the pack, and the impressive (and aggressive) drumming and strong leads only give the band even more ammo to get a leg up on the competition. That’s not to say the band can’t slow things down effectively, as “Columbia” (based upon Bioshock Infinite for the gamers amongst us) is a nice change of pace at the midway point. It also gives Dittmar more room to shine – who gives a performance overall that packs a powerful punch and hit the more emotive marks when needed.
Given the more generic traditional/power acts that are signed with a major presence, it’s still a bummer that Thunder and Lightning goes relatively unnoticed. Their songwriting and ability can hang right there with the best of them. The Ages Will Turn is another fantastic collection of tracks that the power metal crowd should be able to easily sink their teeth into.