CD Reviews

Thornwill - 'Requiem For A Fool' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     April 07, 2014    
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A sterling effort.

If Hungarian Heavy Metal can be this good then consider me impressed. Anyone remember The Wild Strawberries from Yugoslavia before the Balkans War? Back in the day, they were about the only Eastern European band to get a UK release that I'm aware, and I remember picking up a self-financed cassette in Germany in the mid-80s of a Hungarian band, but their name escapes me now. But The Wild Strawberries were pretty good considering the scarcity of top of the range instruments behind the Iron Curtain and access to Western Heavy Metal at the time (they're still going with at least the original guitarist last time I checked). Of course it's all different nowadays, the Internet's changed music beyond all recognition so a lot of the Eastern European bands don't have that local or cultural charm anymore (Noa Rock are one example of an Hungarian Metal band that retain elements of their Folk music).

Regarding this release, whilst Thornwill is not the most inspiring of names, don't let that fool you as this band are the real deal. Numerously described as Power Metal, it's very easy for those less experienced to get carried away with wrong labels, which can have an influence on someone else's perceptions, but they are in fact, straight-ahead no nonsense Classic Heavy Metal with plenty of fast rhythms, chunky riffing and heavy, brooding undercurrents at times. Their ace in the pack is lead guitarist Marton Szabo as he quite often dazzles with impressive, controlled melodic fluidity when you least expect it, most notably on the fast paced, at times Maiden influenced 'Take Me Away' whereby vocalist Almos Gabor shows he can hold sustain with ease.

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Rhythm guitarist Krisztian Agoston is extremely solid throughout providing the band with plenty of those heavy, chunky riffs and the powerful rhythm section of bassist Tamas Paroczi and Mike Portnoy inspired drummer Peter Knausz anchor the whole band with some seriously tight metronomic passages. In fact Knausz is pretty much their second ace in the pack as this guy has certainly learned his chops. Check out their video for album opener 'Struck By Lightning' to hear what I mean (also a very cool Zombie inspired piece – must have cost a few bob!)

These guys are effectively a modern Classic Metal band, which is pretty much summed up on 'Alone'. They are also very heavy in places with the down-tuned rhythm, but also with plenty of that lovely crunch and melodic riffing throughout as evidenced on 'I Am Hope' and I reckon they could easily support Iron Maiden, Helloween or Judas Priest on a European tour and be well received – a sterling effort!

Carl Buxton

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