THAUROROD – Anteinferno
When you’ve had six singers come through the fold in a melodic progressive/ power metal band such as Finland’s Thaurorod, stability could be an issue as you release your second full length album "Anteinferno". Fortunately for the sextet, I think they’ve found the right powerhouse in Sweden’s Andi Kravljaca- a 30 something vocalist ripe with high pitch soaring note propensities. Musically the 10 tracks on this record travel a landscape filled with speedy guitars, occasional keyboard syncopation and orchestral backgrounds, and loaded with steady double bass passages- while the melodies can be a cross between mead hall and audience driven happy choir filled efforts.
At times you’ll think of Sonata Arctica while channeling Dragonland, Dragonforce, and possibly a little bit of Orden Ogan for "Overboard", the darker "Marked for Diablo", and roller coaster 10 minute plus epic title cut. The cultural strains reign supreme, setting up a lot of the musical themes even when drumming tempos are off the charts such as the opener "Planet X" and "Victor" where the early Sonata Arctica comparisons are most prevalent. Overall the sound is a warm and inviting one, and I think most listeners will be impressed with the various power/progressive/ neo-classical riffs and lead break skills from guitarists Emil ‘Emppu’ Pohjalainen and Lasse Nyman- check out "For the Rose to the Grave" and Dragonforce-like "Path" for some jaw dropping synchronized ‘we are not worthy’ work.
Ending with "Riders of the Shires" (think early Elegy meets Dragonland/ Fairyland), Thaurorod struggles to develop their own identity- and I hate to say possesses a moniker that while very ‘cool’ in the Tolkien book realm does not roll off the tongue well to the average metal consumer. If you don’t mind influence points that can be easy to spot, "Anteinferno" could be your neo-classical, happy power metal album you’ve been yearning for.
As for me… this will be a back burner release to relish a couple of times a year.