In Case You Missed: A Sound of Thunder – Tales From the Deadside (Music Inspired by Shadowman)

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We are making sacrifices to the Loa over here, watch your step if you do not want to get involved in voodoo mysteries.

In 2000, a 10 year old Link was renting some Nintendo 64 games from his local store. Browsing through the catalog, he found a blue cartridge that stood out from the grey plastic crowd. The sticker on the front depicted a bald man with black lenses pointing a gun. The little kid was excited and thought all the way back home how kick ass this new game, titled Shadowman, would be. And that was a huge mistake.

When the child turned on the game, a big mask with a stitched deep blue background popped along a dark ambient resonating soundtrack that engulfed that tiny room and transformed it into an asylum. The story was related to a dark god murderer that was collecting souls to construct an intra-dimensional tower to serve as a prison for killers on the Deadside in order to unleash the Apocalypse on Earth. The villain constantly quoted Bible passages and was always spitting blood from his mouth. The voodoo-fueled concept art and the deep horror narration blew little Link’s mind, and he went to bed so scared that when he closed his eyes, the gritty textured images of the game and the dark ambient soundtrack haunted the few dreams he had.

But Enough of this chit-chat, let’s just go to our business. Is the new A Sound of Thunder album a worthy follow-up to the impressive The Lesser Key of Solomon (previously unflushed by our hard-working team)?

A Sound of Thunder took the risk of the crowfunding route and succeeded in their quest. With the valuable help of Valiant Comics, the Washington band created a 60-minute concept album about the history of Jack Dominique Boniface as he turned into the Shadowman and his trials in the fight against Master Darque, the ruler of the Tower of Souls that draws the vital energies of the dead.

The first aspect that pops out on this album is the excellent vocal performance of Nina Osegueda. While older albums were within the definite arena of her style, with that aggressive clean and charismatic pitch perfectly suited to the traditional heavy metal, in Tales from the Deadside she exploited her broad vocal range to imprint more richness into the narrative style of the songs. Since the story depicted in the lyrics deals with multiple scenarios and characters, Nina’s work is built around different techniques and multiple colors. The acid croons and raspy screams are still there, but she also whispers, narrates, and sings lullabies of doom with a memorable ease.

The songwriting is highly melodic, but does not stray from the rivers of inspirational experimentation. Tracks like “Deadside” or “Losing Control (The Unquiet Shadow)” are testaments to different tempos and rhythmic bases that enrich the story and help to convey the different moods of the narration. In those songs, the progressive and doom metal influences detail the tribulations of the principal character, employing with guitar textures and mid tempos in some sections to empower the story twists.

On a similar spectrum, “Sandria (Carry On)”, “Can’t Go Back” and “Alissa (Life in Shadows) are built around mid-tempos that express strong feelings of melancholia without diluting the metal hard edges. Meanwhile, “Tower of Souls”, “Punk Mambo” or “Children of the Dark” are the brain destroyer headbang fests of the record, along with “Tremble” and “End Times” as part of a more anthem-like direction, perfectly adjusted for live settings.

Bass sounds, while being a little bit buried in the mix, work to provide a solid cloud for the guitars to rest. It is also well noted that bassist Jesse Keen helps with the keyboards, and that tiny addition is shown on some piano melodic lines and textural patterns that give a more complete feeling to the songs and spoken interludes. On the other hand, the drums keep the pace and double the rhythms when as needed; due to the touches of progressive metal on the album, Chris Haren’s work is executed with clean accuracy.

All the mood of the horror of the comic is present here, as well as the characters and the story structure with all the plot twists involved during the creation and development of Jack Boniface into the Shadowman. A Sound of Thunder made a noteworthy effort putting together a consolidated concept and bringing it into the metal scene without making it sound extremely cheesy or pretentious.

If you pass the “niche” threshold of listening to a record inspired by a less known comic book, I think you will enjoy Tales from the Deadside. This is a good and fun record to enjoy; it appeals to the comic book fans, melodic music connoisseurs or listeners that seek for more traditional vocal-driven metal. If you are one of these weird people, you can join with us in the Deadside; you will be very welcomed.

4.5 out ov 5 Flaming Toilets ov Hell

NEW_TOILETSCALE_4-5_of_5

 


A Sound of Thunder’s Tales from the Deadside (Music Inspired by Shadowman) is out now. You can buy it on Bandcamp and the band’s e-shop. Remember to seek them out on Facebook and Twitter to be in touch with the band or to catch the dates of their live gigs; tell to them that Link Leonhart and Toilet ov Hell send their regards.

Photos VÍA

  • COAL ROLL

    she sounds like she’s from Ronkonkoma

  • I love this album

  • Dubs

    It’s cool getting a peek into a formative event in your life, Link. It’s weird and interesting how certain pieces of art will resonate with us.

  • Air Raid From The Top Bunk

    Never knew there was a game for N64. I’ve played the Playstation one, and liked it (controls fucking sucked ass though).

  • Waynecro

    Awesome writing, Link! This album sounds a little cheesy for my liking; however, I cannot deny the powerful majesty of Osegueda’s voice.

    • Nina Osegueda

      I bathe in cheese. <3

      • Waynecro

        I’ll admit to dipping my toes in some cheese from time to time.

  • BLACKBEARD UNFILTERED

    I thought this was an album about Shadowrun, which would have been much more doper.

    OT: speakin of awesome album covers, one of my gifts to my bff just came in. Hopefully, he isnt trolling me. (Rfi) sorry for the glare, im not gonna unpackage it

  • I saw ASoT a month or so ago in Austin. They were solid and I had a good time.
    This concludes the nice things I have to say about power metal for 2015.

    • Ever since posting it yesterday I’ve been listening to that nails Flexi disc a lot. Am now ridiculously stoked for new shit from them.

    • tigeraid

      That we got anything out of you at all warms the cockles of my heart.

  • RustyShackleford

    Damn this is a fun time! Also, related to the introduction, I remember how cool I used to think it was when N64 cartridges were different colors. Loved the yellow Donkey Kong 64 and the green BattleTanx: Global Assault. Also, since I was a wee little lad, I think I had the power rangers games and at least one of them was black haha. Anyway. YEP.

    • Dubs

      BattleTanx >>>>

      Wish they’d drop that on virtual console. I’d but it in a heartbeat.

      • RustyShackleford

        I think I had a ROM of it on the SixtyForce emulator on my last laptop, but that shit makes your computer wacky.

      • RJA

        Do they have an arcade version of that? Believe I’ve seen something similar if it’s not that.

        • Dubs

          Not that I’m aware of.

          • RJA

            I’m going to have to do some research. Played some game with my son the last time we were at an arcade that was basically battle tanx.

          • RJA

            It was called Tank! Tank! Tank!

          • Dubs

            Huh. Came out on Wii U too.

      • Janitor Jim Duggan

        I miss that series. Same with the Army Men game series.

    • Waynecro

      I get that, dude. The black Killer Instinct and red Maximum Carnage Super Nintendo carts blew my fucking mind.

    • RJA

      Oh yea, when the first Zelda came out for Nintendo and the cartridge was gold!
      AMAZING! (at the time)

      • Waynecro

        That’s some old-school nerd bling right there.

      • Dubs

        You mentioned the magic Z word that makes my heart soar.

      • RustyShackleford

        Wasn’t it a holographic picture too? Or was that Majora’s Mask?

        • The first production of Ocarina was gold. The second and final production was grey and had two features edited.

          Majora’s Mask first production had a holographic 3D picture on the cartridge. The second one was still gold, but without the holographic.

    • Janitor Jim Duggan

      Turok had black cartridges and Tony Hawk 1 had blue.

      • Waynecro

        Turok: Dinosaur Hunter had a ton of awesome cheat codes.

      • Count_Breznak

        Odd choice in case of Turok, a grey cartridge would have been much more inline with that wall of fog you had to stare at all the time, everywhere

      • RustyShackleford

        Ah. Forgot about Tony Hawk’s blue cause I think I had that on PS1 not N64. Badass though!

      • Count_Breznak

        Speaking of the devilsaur: http://www.gog.com/game/turok

  • ┼yree
    • BLACKBEARD UNFILTERED

      Youre becoming quite the artiste, Tyree

      • ┼yree

        5 minutes of ritualistic Photoshop doom.

  • Max

    Didn’t she used to comment here from time to time?

    • more beer

      Yes. Here and a couple of other places. I am surprised she hasn’t commented on this article.

      • Max

        It’s a shame she hasn’t seen it; it’s quite a glowing review.

        • more beer

          I will bet she ends up seeing it. It is a very good review.

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Despite having no real taste for Power Metal, I follow her and the band on Twitter because they are friends of ToH. Neither seem to be there much, same thing here.

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Oh, and they retweeted the ToH Twitter post about this article as well. They were very happy with it.

          • more beer

            I’m sure it got a good write up.

        • ┼yree

          I think she did see it. She upvoted my dumb comment.

          • Max

            She upvoted mine too! Her eyes are everywhere.

          • Nina Osegueda

            >_>

        • KJM, Shake Zula

          She and the band have seen it. See below post.

    • Nina Osegueda

      I sure did!

  • Stanley

    Nice new Toilet score traffic (not sure if it’s been used before, but it’s my first time seeing/noticing it).

    • Dubs

      I think Horrendous might have been the first review that used it, but I’m not certain.

      • robit’s review of the new Ghost
        p.s. stop hating on Ghost

  • Eliza

    Love the singer’s voice! It’s so powerful!

  • KJM, Shake Zula

    Now this is a travesty of justice! #FreeMartin

    https://twitter.com/FreeShkreli/status/677462821882433536

    • *punch

      • Vault Dweller

        I’mma hit him with that Paralyzing Palm strike.

        • better use a Stealth Boy, he might have a good rifle

          • Vault Dweller

            Good call. That fucker MacCready is watching my 6 though, he knows when to take the shot.

            I don’t trust him, but he’s been shaped by the inhospitable wasteland of the Commonwealth, been molded by it.

          • i don’t trust MacCready and he doesn’t trust me. it’s a mutual understanding. plus, i’m trying rill hard to win Piper’s heart 😉

      • KJM, Shake Zula

        #DouchebagLivesMatter