Distant Thunder - 2004 Welcome The End

ARTIST: Distant Thunder
ALBUM: Welcome The End
LABEL: Massacre Records
YEAR: 2004

LINEUP: James Rivera - vocals * Mike LePond - bass * Eric Halpern, Gregg Gill - guitars * Rick Ward - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Day Upon You * 02 I Welcome The End * 03 Souless Inventions * 04 Hopeless Creator * 05 Fire In The Skies * 06 Distant Thunder (instrumental) * 07 Beyond The Black Field Of Stars * 08 Lost In Time * 09 Finding My Way * 10 Run With The Pack * 11 Restless And Wild


James Rivera is back. The Helstar, Destiny's End and Seven Witches vocalist brings his latest incarnation to the world. Rivera fans in general will lap this up and come back begging for more as James and co. tear up the pavement from start to finish.

There's a good mix of Helstar, Destiny's End, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden. I even hear a little Annihilator. Get all those together and you're talking 'heavy f**king metal.

Joining James are guitarists Eric Halpern and Gregg Gill, who both play with the excellent Z-Lot-Z, Mike LePond from Symphony X and drummer Rick Ward. The foundation of Distant Thunder's sound is the tight rhythm guitars and searing leads courtesy of these talented musicians.

The Songs

There are a number of memorable moments but the riff on 'Lost In Time' is a ball breaker. The track begins slowly but when that riff kicks in, along with James' vocals, it will floor you.

The Helstar references are all too obvious, considering the album cover (pentagram), the band name (a previous Helstar album title), and the re-recording of their tune 'Running With The Pack', which admittedly is inspired. I haven't heard the original, and probably won't bother as this version sounds amazing.

Accept's 'Restless and Wild' also gets a good going over - James Rivera style. A couple of the newer tracks that really hit the mark are the menacing 'Soulless Inventions' with a wonderful galloping riff, while 'Fire In The Skies' is plain brutal with a mid-tempo chugging riff and great twin lead guitar.

In Summary

If you crave old fashioned American metal brought into the 21st Century then Distant Thunder will certainly feed your hunger. We can thank Jack Frost for wrapping the material in a first class production.

Everything sounds great, especially those riffs when you turn the stereo way, way up. 'Welcome The End' is a superb, unrelenting album that won't let you down.

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