Fancy that, Thunder Horse (BC/TX) just happens to be the debut LP from well, err, Thunder Horse. I’m only surprised because even the youngest bands today seem to have a trail of EPs and singles before jumping onto the hollowed full length. And as far as musical maiden journeys go, this San Antonio outfit has hit the ground running.
What you find on Thunder Horse is a slightly uneven collection of self-assured riffs, bluesy swagger, majestic leads, and jarring samples. Its clear from the jump that even though it’s a debut, the members of Thunder Horse have honed their chops in acts ranging from Evil United to Sebastian Bach’s live band. And the chops are on full display in the chaotic soloing of ‘Blood Ritual’ and the melodic and technical leads of ‘Liber ad Christ Milites Templi.’ If you’re a man of discerning guitar taste you do really owe it to yourself to give Thunder Horse at least one dedicated listen. Not convinced? Just give ‘Pray for Rain’ a test drive and marvel at the marriage of Shoegaze ambiance and psychedelic Prog straight from the seventies that takes over in its second half.
But not all debuts are In the Nightside Eclipse (Candlelight). Not sure if we need as many, or any, samples at all on this record. Sure, they are used as an attempt to drive tension or add to the narrative, but songs like ‘Coming Home’ drive those points home with the riff and low-end alone. And a little editorial restraint goes a long way on lengthier numbers like ‘This Is The End’ which, once it gets cooking in its second half, is a guitarist buffet line, but it makes you work for your supper with roughly five minutes of waiting around for the shred.
Just the fancy guitar fingers alone make this a worthy listen, but I’m on board because of the potential of what the future can hold for Thunder Horse.
7 / 10