Sometimes you have a pretty good album that is totally destroyed by a couple of seconds of mediocrity. This is very much the case with Labyrinth's "Sons of Thunder".

Let me elaborate.

I'd heard good stuff about Labyrinth, about their guitar talents and their good drumming, even their vocalist. So I was pleasantly surprised to find the promo in my mailbox. It starts off really well with "Chapter 1", a power-y prog rock track that will go down well down the aural ducts of fans of this genre of music. Then there's "Kathryn", a song marred by whiny background vocals. "Elegy" has good guitar work, "Save Me" is a cool track with magnificent guitar work, and the closer, "I Feel You" (which is a cover of an originally Italian pop song) is very interesting.

The thing that really destroys matters is the "a-haaa" type background vocals in "Touch the Rainbow". Shudders run up and down my spine, my fillings pop loose from my teeth and I get an uncanny sensation of knowing what it's like when someone walks over your grave. They're horrible, no HORRIBLE. It leaves me with a faul taste in my mouth, an urge to shake my head to even cast off the sheer memory of having heard them. And to think the song starts off with some really cool drumming...

All in all, musically Labyrinth is more than capable even if their songwriting isn't quite at a par with other bands in the genre (Rhapsody, Dream Theater). But he who got the idea to do those vocals (as well as the executor(s) of said aural torments) ought to have his vocal chords ritually removed, without sedation.

Sons of Thunder?

I think not.



Written July 2000


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