Let me just say, I love the name ThunderWorks, it brings to mind the delicious cheesiness of the likes of Dethklok, making me expect a zany, almost hilariously good listening experience. To my surprise, there is almost no cheese to be found in Thoughts And Thunder; instead, ThunderWorks put forward a serious brand of melodic death metal with some progressive twists, wearing their influences on their sleeves with pride.
The album kicks off immediately with speedy, high toned guitars, making a dramatic buildup for the drums to come bursting in along with heavy, skull crushing guitar work, and growls that are delivered at sonic speed. It all sounds very much like Amon Amarth, just without the Viking stylings. While the sane structure is applied to many areas throughout the album (build up, then knock ‘em flat), the parts that make it up are never quite the same. Sometimes they’ll slide in with a hollow sounding acoustic piece, bringing thoughts of Metallica circa Master of Puppets, and other times there will be a very forward bass line emulating the likes of early Opeth. Despite applying similar structures to their songs, there is still plenty of creativity present to make a varied and diverse sound.
Not only does the instrumental have a unique character, but the vocals do as well. Although growls are employed the most, they come out in a variety of different tempos, from long slow gutturals, to spitfire speed and everything in between. There are also some sections with clean vocals that, oddly enough, sound a bit like Tool, as well as some low chanted passages sounding akin to Janne Christoffersson of Grand Magus. The medley of influences and personal twists and styles that is Thoughts And Thunder only works in ThunderWorks’ favour, avoiding sounding too much like one particular band, while also taking lessons from those who inspired them.
Overall, ThunderWorks bring in a powerful sound that is well coloured with various passages of experimentation, without being pretentious. If you like melodeath, especially the kind with a little quirkiness of prog, Thoughts And Thunder is definitely worth a listen.