Thundermother – Black and Gold (AFM Records)

Monday, 22nd August 2022
Rating: 8 / 10

Swedish quartet Thundermother returns hot on the heels of their 2020 release Heat Wave with the follow-up Black and Gold. Choosing from twenty demo songs the best twelve tracks with a little help from friends and colleagues the band trusts, these ladies know how to develop and execute blues-based melodic hard rock/ metal that fuses the best of classic influences (AC/DC, Motörhead) while paying attention to some of the heart / spirit of current headliners like Halestorm.

Expect high-energy, three-chord driven music where vocalist Guernica Mancini can soar in that classic rock resonance – belting out choruses for “Wasted” and Kissin’ Dynamite-ish anthem opener “The Light in the Sky” in that upper echelon of premiere voices. Add in the proper background/gang vocal support and killer guitar riffs plus appropriate additional tricks like the talk box on the title track and its undeniable the instantaneous appeal this material possesses song by song. “Hot Mess” as a power ballad will resonate most for those who love the 80’s/early 90’s Aerosmith revival, the main chord progressions plus emotionally driven chorus similar to the work of the Toxic Twins of Steven Tyler/Joe Perry. These ladies can also get a bit adventurous during “Watch Out” and “Try with Love”, showcasing a bit more of their metal chops as Filippa Nässil lays down circular lead breaks matching the adrenaline-laced proceedings. The record closes on another slower note for “Borrowed Time”, a poignant tale about the feelings that occur post-show as you move onto the next venue, wanting to ‘live forever’ and bottle up those moments forever, taking influence from early Europe and Riot for this stellar conclusion.

For all the fancy acts that juggle musical genres or try to be blazing musicians, there’s something special about well-played, blues-based hard rock/metal that keeps the focus on proper song construction in radio-friendly three to four-minute timeframes. Thundermother crank out music designed for maximum enjoyment on stage, as Black and Gold should add plenty of permanent setlist pleasers to the already delightful catalog.

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