Thunder Rising - Thunder Rising

Thunder Rising
Thunder Rising
Well there are a number of singers that seem to pop up on a number of projects every other year, and Mark Boals, is no stranger to that tradition... at least, most of the projects he chooses to partake seem to maintain a certain level of quality in songwriting and as for the man's performances, well, they quite speak for him. Thunder Rising is yet another one of “those” projects, comprising obviously of the aforementioned Mark Boals (Malmsteen, Ring of Fire), guitarists Frank Caruso (Firehouse, Arachnes, Strings24) and Andy Ringoli (Homerun), drummer C.C.Nail (Firehouse, Wine Spirit) and bassist Gabry Baroni (Arachnes, Strings24)
The album itself is a quite melodic and pleasant affair, quite well produced, although, it lacks the perfect edge and luscious sound, but it’s more than adequate. Some of the edits and fades as well are a little choppy and amateur.
“Something to Believe” is very melodic and quite fast paced yet dark and modern sounding tune. When “modern” is mentioned, obviously, it’s not mentioned as a bad thing, but it’s a bit more aggressive and lower tuned, so it adds a bit of a more interesting “edge”. Since the musicians involved in the project are all seasoned players, they don’t do it, in a silly way, they actually “reap” all the possible reward of such an “approach”.
“Without You”, is a quite dramatic, tune of almost cinematic proportions with an interesting string melody going through it and Boals, just giving quite a sensational performance.
“Love Hard, Live Fast” tries to be a bit of an anthem and it half succeeds but it’s a bit over the top, so it ultimately fails. It preposterously tries to mix something like a hair metal anthem with a restrained speed metal anthem, so it ends up not working, while in certain portions, it almost does, but it’s not helped by it’s over all generic riff and cheese-ball lyrics.
“An Angel Cries” on the other hand is a bona fide, ballad, with all the marks (excuse the pun) of a fine one. Mark Boals really shines on this one, even if I think that he sound a little tired. I am sure that a few years ago, this would have been sung, quite higher.
“Tonight” is a pretty fine staple of rock n’ roll meets metal party tune... good for cracking a bottle up and pouring a drink and having a good time! Good time party tune, with a summer vibe!
The bizarrely titled “Hip Hop Blues Inspiration” is an instrumental, that is quite cool, and is quite bluesy and well – the only reasoning behind the title, imho, could be that some of the percussion, mimics, quite a bit some hip-hop rhymes... so it’s could be that some-one from the band heard some hip hop bit, that they liked and they came up with some melody and then this evolved from there...?
There’s also an acoustic version of “Without You” where hand-claps substitute the “strings”... it’s quite, nice... I have to say and maybe I like it as much, maybe even a bit more than the original… J
“Flying Over the Road” is a slow and soft, “sunny” instrumental that ideally closes the album with a note of “optimism” over soft piano notes...
Overall, quite a pleasant surprise, that adds a couple of very nice tunes to the ever growing catalog of Mark Boals sung tunes.