A Sound of Thunder - Parallel Eternity - full album
Mad Neptune Records
Traditional Heavy Metal w/Orchestral (and Other) Arrangements
Disc 1: 11 songs (76'24") Disc 2: 12 songs (61'54")
Release year: 2020
Reviewed by Alex
Album of the month

A Sound of Thunder is an American heavy metal band which chose to go their own way. Sure, their metal style may be quite traditional, resting on the pillars of heavy metal classics, but how the band chose to finance their releases is entirely different. At some point in time the band elected not to sign on with any label, but instead fundraised dollars needed to record and release their albums via Kickstarter campaigns appealing to their loyal and dedicated fans. Having reviewed a pair of A Sound of Thunder early CDs I have joined the club and have been faithfully contributing to the cause. This put me in a little dubious position whether I can review the next release to which I just donated without bias. A Sound of Thunder music though doesn’t need my advocacy. If you are a traditional/classic heavy metal fan, and you never heard of A Sound of Thunder, you are doing yourself a disservice. Thoughtful songwriting, excellent musicianship, memorable melodies, catchy riffs, not to mention probably one of the best vocalists in the US, male or female, Nina Osegueda (who thankfully just recovered from a serious car accident) - every album by the band has left the mark on me and gets replayed quite often. Parallel Eternity then is not a new release by A Sound of Thunder, but instead remakes of the existing songs. Instead of issuing a simple collection of Best Ofs, the band has gone some significant length to rethink their compositions through the prism of orchestral (and other) arrangements. The mere fact a band can have this many quality songs is a testament to A Sound of Thunder in the first place, but to be able to dig deeper into their own sound revealed another side of the band for me.

While listening to Parallel Eternity I kept posing the same question to myself. Has the band enhanced the track while still staying true to metal? The answer in many instances on Parallel Eternity is a resounding yes, and that’s why the album is quite a success. Some songs selected for the album are signature cuts (A Sound of Thunder) where a 2 min operatic overture is added onto a meat & potatoes main theme with additional horns & bells arrangements. Others are narrative mid-pacers (Discovery) where the opportunity to embellish with long lead and violins is very appropriate. There are songs which I have not heard before. The Celtic longing opening and Iron Maiden riffing inspired, epic in length Explorer, where Nina rages, floats and as always impresses, while remaining soaring and bright. Walls is another early piece I am unfamiliar with, a shorter punchier rocker with a hooky infectious chorus. Some songs are absolutely tailor made for the project. Time’s Arrow gallop is made more colorful and taking flight where Nina just climbs octaves. Queen of Hell is unrivaled and is good in any configuration, while orchestra adds more urgency and middle piano adds intrigue. Queen of Hell twin song Udoroth is made more demonic with orchestra present. And monumental Els Segadors is absolutely emphatic and a national anthem worthy and probably should have been made an album closer (not that I have anything against Phantom Flight). The one song I wish was included but wasn’t is magnificent Kalat Alhambra, but I guess you can’t cover them all.

My edition is a digipak 2-disc, because I always send A Sound of Thunder more of my dollars while trying to get every piece of music they released. Now, I loved to get extras on the second disc, but you have got to keep an open mind here. First, the fact Elijah is not on Disc 1 is a shame. This dramatic multipart opus is made for operatic enhancement. Amazing Els Segadors is present again and is just as strong, while A Sound of Thunder now made into instrumental (with the same opera overture) sounds quite interesting. Reign of the Hawklords now has a middle-Eastern slant, with marimba drums beats, and it fits the spirit. Too Late and I’ll Walk with You are ethereal and mystical (especially I’ll Walk with You which creates a dark and unsettling feeling), and Nina has to sing over acoustics, which may have exposed a lesser singer but she has nothing to worry about. The cover of Too Late from Dio-fronted Black Sabbath Dehumanizer is absolutely stunning. Yet, there is a pop synth with mechanical artificial beat Can’t Go Back, techno Udoroth which makes me scratch my head still, and cutting Kill That Bitch now converted into the radio friendly, almost hip-hoppy track. Well, they were allowed to experiment a little and they did.

Something that I anticipated with a little bit of apprehension, because it could have turned into one giant dud, turned out to be a great idea and a remarkable success. My recommendation for the fans to get Parallel Eternity can’t be any stronger. Now it is time for the new music. Hope the time during the 2020 pandemic was used for new creations.

Killing Songs :
Killer Album
Alex quoted 92 / 100 & 84 / 100
Other albums by A Sound of Thunder that we have reviewed:
A Sound of Thunder - Parallel Eternity reviewed by Alex and quoted no quote
A Sound of Thunder - It Was Metal reviewed by Alex and quoted 88 / 100
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
To see all 8 reviews click here
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