Review by Rick Ossian
Beginning with the obligatory double-bass thump, More Wicked Than Not, the opening track here, is what I would term, simply, ‘battle metal’. There is also a pretty nifty guitar solo on board. As we shall see, it may be the first, but it definitely won’t be the last. There are elements of thrash here as well, and be forewarned, reader; this may not be for the faint of heart! Thunder Tribe are a powerful metal band from Kentucky. Their bio calls them hard-rock, and/or power/prog-metal. I found that and more on this particular CD.
Personnel-wise, we have an excellent vocalist in Michael Duncan, two wicked guitarists in Ronnie Duncan and Rick Sargent, a rock-solid bassist in Tom Dawson, and the keeper of the toms, Chad Osborne. As we shall see, all of them play their roles well here. For the sake of genre-busting, we should also probably include the term folk metal as well – it may be seen that there are elements of much more besides. On with the show, then!
Part of the Black features TWO guitar solos. How dare they, you might ask? Indeed. From this listener’s perspective, both fit fine and are melded in well – part of the song, if you will. As it should be. Say Goodbye, by contrast, is mellower, though mysterious and magnificent nonetheless. It is also regal, and would make good Halloween music, methinks. There is also a sad, weird phase fade-out, like a Beatles sitar number (Tomorrow Never Knows).
The Light features more mellowness in intro, à la folk metal. This track is particularly haunting, and is actually a bit bluesy, believe it or not. It is not the only track that will strike you in this manner. War Chant (the title track) is more of a full-on heavy metal slammer. Again, more battle metal mixed with folk metal. Confused yet? Believe is a breakneck speed, screaming, slamming metal beast with the inevitable guitar solo.
Watching It Burn has more of a heavy groove and vocal power to spare. There is a sparkling guitar solo half-way in. This track is more of a down and dirty alley/gutter/street metal vibe, if you will. Above the Blue features an acoustic flamenco-style guitar intro and a VERY bluesy vibe throughout. Echoes of a New Day is back to business as usual, only not quite so speedy – more like a metal march of sorts. About one -and-a-half minutes in, they shift gears again. We should be used to this by now, right?
Fly is more midtempo metal, if you will, with good strong vocals, and a wah-drenched solo about half-way through. The last track, It’s A Lie, is pedal-to-the-metal slamming again, then sort of a beach-style riff rock, of all things. Odd, but not bad at all. The vocals are, as per usual, VERY metal. Hard rock/prog metal extraordinaire then, from Kentucky, of all places! Bravo, Thunder Tribe – nicely done!