Welcome The End

Distant Thunder

Quite weird title for a debut album, don't you think? The artificial voice in the […]
By Eleni Mouratoglou
June 2, 2004
Distant Thunder - Welcome The End album cover

Quite weird title for a debut album, don't you think? The artificial voice in the intro assures it is not. Anyway... Distant Thunder originate from Houston, Texas and they exsist for about a year. Although it's a new band it consists of experienced musicians. James Rivera (ex-Helstar, Seven Witches and Flotsam And Jetsam's vocalist) sings while Eric Halpern (ex-Destiny's End) plays the guitar and Mike Lepond (Symphony X' bassist) the bass.
Welcome The End is a more than a satisfactory release. It just contains Heavy Metal (any aspect of other, more specialized genres is unsignificant). The band definately encourages our hope. Their music is dynamic and characterized by real strength. It is as intense as it should be to get you carried away when you will listen to Welcome The End to a high volume. Eric Halpern's guitar solos and storming riffs convince us of his virtuosity, especially in Distant Thunder which is the only orchestral track of the album. Mike Lepond once more certifies that he is an astounding bassist. Check Hopeless Creator out and there is no doubt you will praise him. James Rivera demonstrates the wide range and the techical integrity of his voice.
Well, such things are not necessarily positive and I'm talking about Mr.Rivera. To put himself forward he ends up streggling his voice. He appears to have different styles of performance and this is indeed a proof of his skill, but he lacks in another important dimension. At times he reminded me of Andy Derris, Rob Halford and even Ozzy Osbourne's colour and Midnight's fysically disfigured to an unbelievable degree screams. These comparisons probably seem groundless but I'm sure you can see my point here: this talented singer needs to bring more feeling out, be more expressive and create a personal image, as it is known to everybody that even the best immitation of something is one step below it. So, to make a particular suggestion I'd say that it would be better if some of the double and phonetic acrobatisms were abolished.
About the songs now, there are some great moments of guarantedd delight for your ears. I'm referring to I Welcome The End, Hopeless Creator and Beyond The Black Field Of Stars. All the rest are fine, too, but I believe that these three will make you listen to them again and again. There are also two covers, Helstar's Finding My Way and Accept's Restless And Wild. I should note that the album's production is Jack Frost's (ex-Savatage guitarist) work.
Good work gentlemen. Next time icrease a little bit the dose of inspiration. I bet the recipe is already successful but nobody would mind if you came up with an optimized version, a first class classic.

8 / 10


"Welcome The End" Track-listing:

The Day Upon You
I Welcome The End
Soulless Inventions
Hopeless Creator
Fire In The Skies
Distant Thunder
Beyond The Black Field Of Stars
Lost In Time
Finding My Way
Run With The Pack
Restless And Wild

Distant Thunder Lineup:

James Rivera - Vocals
Eric Halpern - Guitar
Mike Lepond - Bass

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