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January 2015
Released: 2014, Artist Station
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

As much as I hate to admit it marketing, packaging and presentation can make a difference to the long-term success of a Metal band. In an ideal world, people would just ‘listen’ to music but we know that is not the case and I am on occasion guilty of not giving a band it’s proper unbiased attention. Thomsen’s second album UNBROKEN is one of those cases.

The band name is dull, it doesn’t seem Metal, it sounds like the last name of the bumbling detectives in the Tintin comics. The album cover is boring. They are on an obscure label. So for these reasons and more I just never bothered listening to this album when I got it back in the summer of 2014. That was my mistake because I could have been enjoying UNBROKEN for half the year. As it stands I only heard this excellent group and album near the end of December going through my big year-end push to see if there was anything I missed. Well, I missed Thomsen!

Thomsen is a young German band five piece, from near Hannover and they are named after guitarist Rene Thomsen. They play quintessential Germanic Power Metal. The first notes came out the speakers and my immediate thought was…”Grave Digger, Primal Fear, Iron Savior…perfect! How could I have missed this band?” The rough and gruff vocals of Dutchman Robert Soeterboek are perfect for this rough-hewn type of Metal. He has a good dynamic voice and it was after a bit of research that I realized he sings in the Melodic Metal band Wicked Sensation and I have one of their old albums. On the album he can switch from ease from a Boltendahl style gruff delivery to a much more smother style. He is very talented. The rest of the band help deliver the mid-paced to fast Metal cuts on the dozen songs presented here. There is a really nice mini drum solo at the beginning of the title track. That pounding track is followed by a brief, melancholy instrumental called “Six Thirteen 64” which I assume has some meaning for Thomsen either the death of a family member or maybe a birthday, assuming it is representing June 13th, 1964. It is a nice break in an aggressive album and a very nice, subdued guitar solo reminding me of Joe Satriani. This leads into one of the slower, more inspirational tracks called “We Made It" featuring a huge soaring chorus. It has little symphonic flourishes in the song before dropping into a slow grinder featuring guest vocals by Mr. Udo Dirkschenider. This stand-out song could easily fit on a Doro, Accept or Udo solo album and has a great solo as well. The albums ends on punchy note bring it all home.

Don’t make the same mistake I did by ignoring this low-key group, that admittedly lacks personality or a distinct identity. Listen first because the band is anything but average, and UNBROKEN meets my definition of a hidden gem. I hope more people hear this excellent, passionate and extremely well executed, exciting record.
Track Listing

1. Draw the Curtain
2. In Steel We Trust
3. New Horizon
4. Break That Spell
5. Dream
6. Fools of Fortune
7. Into the Unknown
8. Unbroken
9. Six Thirteen 64
10. We Made It
11. One
12. Tears of the Sun (Live from the rehearsal stage)


Ingo Lühring Bass
René Thomsen Guitars
Denis Brosowski Vocals
Robert Soeterboek Vocals
Mike Pesin Guitars
Max Dietzman Drums

Other reviews

» Unbroken
by JP

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