A Sound of Thunder seemed to come out of nowhere in 2012 with their album Out of the Darkness. Even though the band had been busting their musical chops since 2008 as the personal pieces of the puzzle began to come together, it was their 2012 release that caught people’s attention. That album seemed to fill a void in metal fans that had been missing in today’s flavor of the week market. Songs such as “Murderous Horde” and the tongue-in-cheek “Kill That Bitch,” along with great videos to accompany them, seemed to strike a chord with many metal lovers.
Upon Out of the Darkness’ completion, the band wasted no time and immediately began working on their follow-up, which brings us to the release of their EP Queen of Hell. The four song EP that serves as a “wet your appetite” sampler of what’s ahead on their full-length album, Time’s Arrow, that is slated to be released this spring. It also helped to fulfill a want of the band’s, as well as the fans, of having a vinyl release. “We’d been wanting to do a vinyl release for a while. It’s not practical or cheap, but let’s face it; vinyl looks cool,” stated lead guitarist and co-founder Josh Schwartz.
It’s an EP, so it’s only four songs, but it packs just as much punch, if not more, than most band’s full length albums. The title track kicks off the EP, and if you were hungry for more of what the band delivered on their last album, you are in for a treat. The chanting from the “Thunder-Choir,” a group of die-hard fans who recorded the segment in October of 2012, begins to peak your curiosity at the beginning. Then, Josh lures you in with a tasty riff as the song takes off. All of a sudden, lead vocalist Nina “What if Rob Halford and Bruce Dickinson had a love child?” Osegueda lets out a piercing scream as if to signal to all “I’m back!” It’s a solid, kick-ass start. The EP also closes with an alternate version of the title track. It’s a duet with guest vocals by Veronica Freeman of Benedictum. Now, here we have two dynamic women in metal whose voices speak for themselves, no pun intended. These ladies are pure metal without any gimmicks or relying on the “sex sells” angle to garner attention.
“Hello Nurse” is a wild ride and with a few twists and turns. It does contain those clever, tongue in cheek lyrics in the vein of “Kill the Bitch.” After a listen or two, you can start envisioning a music video to go along with it that would surely demand a “mature” rating. Oh yeah, did I mention the breakdown in it contains an old school, swing type of piano solo? Yes, I said piano! It’s a bold and adventurous move, but they manage to make it work. A cover of Black Sabbath’s “Thrashed” is the other track on here. Although the band has had a strict no covers policy, producer Kevin Gutierrez may have been the deciding factor on this exception. By the way, if you’re having a hard time placing the song, it’s from the album Born Again which is the only Sabbath album to feature Ian Gillan of Deep Purple fame on lead vocals.
Overall, the only thing that I can say bad about this EP is that it’s too short, but then again it is an EP. If this is an indicator to gauge how well their upcoming album, Time’s Arrow, is going to be, then we are in for some serious head banging. Josh is fierce on his solos again and Nina’s voice is stronger than ever. The rhythm section of Chris Haren on drums and Jesse Keen on bass is tighter than ever.
The EP is available in three different physical formats including a standard CD version, a red vinyl version as well as an autographed CD version at http://asoundofthunder.bigcartel.com. It is also available as a digital download too at http://asot.bandcamp.com.
Check out their Kill that Bitch video here!