A Sound of Thunder - Queen of Hell
Self released
Heavy Metal
4 songs ()
Release year: 2012
Reviewed by Alex

Over a decade that I have been contributing to Metal Reviews I have had a privilege to discover and write reviews for a number of young heretofore unknown bands who have really impressed me with their submissions. After hearing their debut (or at least debut on the MR pages), I would make it a point to follow the band, and try covering them from there on out. Faroese Tyr, Latvian Skyforger, Italian Grey Swan, Finnish Insomnium and Swallow the Sun, some of them made it quite big (Tyr, Insomnium), and I hope my review served at least as a small point of impetus propelling them forward. I call these “my bands” and would like to add Washington, DC, A Sound of Thunder to the list. When it comes to classic heavy metal the band simply gets it right, and their vocalist Nina Osegueda is a worthy successor to Doro’s not yet discarded mantle.

My first introduction to A Sound of Thunder was their 2012 full-length Out of the Darkness. The band is getting ready to defend the album on tour, and before they embark on the trip the guys decided to pad their holsters it with a quick EP titled Queen of Hell. The EP has the title track cooked two ways, the version the way it will appear on the next album and the one featuring a duet between Nina and Veronica Freeman (from the US brothers-in-arms Benedictum). There is another new track title Hello Nurse and the cover of Trashed from Black Sabbath Born Again.

The title track is exactly the reason why I think A Sound of Thunder deserves your attention. I would not be surprised if the song serves as a set opener on the upcoming tour. Just enough opening keyboards to create a mystical aura, the song plunges in with the machine gun powerful riffing prefacing Nina’s entry. She is touching off what seems like higher notes than what she did on Out of the Darkness. A supercatchy chorus does not detract at all, and expansive lead finds room to shine. The band invited a bunch of fans to record chants “Hail, Queen of Hell”. How cool is that to be present as a voice on your favorite band’s musical issue? The duet with Veronica does not have the opening keys, nor it has the fans’ chants, but the two female voices blend together and Veronica fills in the powerful, more burly, bottom perfectly complementing soaring Nina.

Hello Nurse is more tongue-in-cheek humor a la Kill That Bitch from Out of the Darkness. Snappy bass and all it presents a story of a nurse having a crush on a doctor. Having to play this femme fatale who got entrapped in her own feelings, Nina goes for the sultry angle (successfully), and the lengthy Las Vegas lounge piano lead shifts the feel more to the rock’n’roll atmosphere.

As we discussed with A Sound of Thunder guitarist Josh Schwartz Black Sabbath Born Again is an acquired taste, and I definitely missed on that acquisition somewhere along the way, so Trashed does not quite float my boat, but covering anything worthy from the Dio or Ozzy eras has been done so many times before there is no material left. Besides Nina’s voice and Ozzy’s won’t mix, and going after Dio would have felt a little trite in light of the man’s recent passing. Nina’s rising highs are a good match for Gillan’s delivery, however, even though, again, I didn’t think back in the 80s the voice of Deep Purple and Sabbath masterminds had a masterpiece on their hands.

To fill out the scorecard, the EP has one excellent song, which I don’t mind hearing twice, a fun track and a cover which does not rock the boat. This, of course, wouldn’t sway your mind. Better yet, get Out of the Darkness album, and seek the band’s tour itinerary. I know I will as it would be fun to eventually meet in person.

Killing Songs :
Queen of Hell in either version
Alex quoted no quote
Other albums by A Sound of Thunder that we have reviewed:
A Sound of Thunder - Tales From The Deadside reviewed by Joel and quoted 90 / 100
A Sound of Thunder - The Lesser Key of Solomon reviewed by Alex and quoted 88 / 100
A Sound of Thunder - Times Arrow reviewed by Alex and quoted 89 / 100
A Sound of Thunder - Out of the Darkness reviewed by Alex and quoted 90 / 100
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