Released: 2013, Rock Saviour Records
What can I say about Thor that I have not already said? I have reviewed 14 Thor albums for Metal-Rules.com and I feel the original Canadian Rock Warrior can (virtually) do no wrong. THUNDERSTRYKE II is a part of a double disc set commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the mighty one. Thor wanted to do something special so it is a nice mix of old and new material.
My main complaint about THUNDERSTRYKE I was the packaging and presentation really lacked substance. These types of compilations can live or die based on the information wanted and needed by fans and members of the Thorr Korr. I very pleased to say that THUNDERSTRYKE II is far superior in that regard. The 8-page booklet includes about 20 photos from across the ages and full, detailed liner notes. There is also an inspirational message for Thor himself. The CD itself is a 14-track monster running a generous hour in length.
If there is a ‘theme’ on this record Thor pays tribute to his guitarists from his career; Frank Soda, Frank Meyer, Mike Kischnick, Steve Price and more. The whole album is also heavier than the THUNDERSTRYKE I. The album opens with a cool narrative in a booming voice that introduces the song, ‘Coming of Thor, one of the heavier tracks of his career. The albums surges along, one highlight, which was a bit slower than the rest with a nice 70’s keyboard sound, is the atmospheric and creepy song ‘Graveyard’ which could easily become a Halloween anthem. Most of the compositions are simple and effective Hard Rock/Heavy Metal songs with a standard 3-4 minute run time, built around some catchy riffs and an open sound that highlights Thor still powerful voice. I also like how Thor revisits some older songs with a second or complimentary track such as ‘”Megaton Man Returns’, ‘We Live To Rock Again’, and ‘Accept The Challenge Again’, each working around lyrical ideas from previous songs.
THUNDERSTRKE II is well executed and great batch of songs representative of his stellar career. This is a great place to start if you are new to the glory and majesty of Thor, or a real gem for the battle-hardened members of the Thor Korr. Hail.