Angels of Babylon - Thundergod (Scarlet Records)

Release Date: 
18 Jun 2013 (All day)

So, not content with busting eardrums apart worldwide as part of the excellent Death Dealer ‘supergroup’, former Manowar timekeeper Rhino is back with his own project, now releasing album number two, the redoubtable Angels of Babylon

You may remember the first AoB album featured none other than Dave Ellefson of Megadeth handling bass duties; Understanderbly  circumstances chez Mustaine command that he’s done one this time around, and so Thundergod is shorn of that ‘all-star’ feel that the debut record had a whiff off… and to my mind that’s a good thing!

It’s a good thing ‘cos it focuses the mind on what’s really important – that’s the songs, in case you were wondering – and it has to be said that Rhino and co have come up with a few very decent ones!

Best of the bunch for this reviewer has to be the um, titanic, White Star Line, which has a real filmic feel in its orchestration , sounding in places like the soundtrack to a Poirot mystery (although the Love Boat theme did spring to mind too, If we’re being honest), whilst the thumping, sprawling Sondrio is also right out of the top draw of fist-punching metal anthems.

As is the Manowaresque True Brothers, a dramatic, anthemic slab of metal glory that really does sound like something that might have been written for the Triumph of Steel album!

Thundergod (and in keeping with the obvious Manowar thread rolling, the title track is a heartfelt tribute to Rhino’s Manowar  skinbeating brother Scott Columbus) really is in that league for the most part, although in its most ambitious moments the most valid comparison would be that this more like a heavier Virgin Steele than  Joey DeMaio and company, whilst the brooding Redemption has an air of Dio-era Sabbath about it to further cement the classic metal feel of things.

Well worth a listen then, and if the Death Dealer album left you (like me) feeling a little overwhelmed by the sheer relentless heaviness of it all, then this might just be a bit more to your taste. Give it a try!