Released: 2006, Black Lotus Records
2006 sees the Norwegian group, Thundra, release their second album, WORSHIPPED BY CHAOS via Black Lotus (who have, since releasing this album, closed their doors). The band’s claim to fame is having ex-members of Enslaved and Einherjer, which, while true, only amounts to their rhythm section of bassist Stein Sund and drummer Harald Magnus Helgeson. As well, if you were duped into finding this band through either Enslaved or Einherjer, you might find yourself rather disappointed.
Thundra play somewhat aggressive, modern, melodic black metal with touches of Viking stuff here and there. Certainly Enslaved or a rawer Einherjer isn’t too much of a stretch in comparison, but the quality is (even if I find myself to not be much of a fan of either band, the difference in quality is noticeable). To get a good idea of the band’s sound, think of the modern, clean sounding black metal approach, mix it up with some melody and Viking clean vocals here and there. The production is very clean and polished, no rough edges whatsoever.
My problem with the band’s music is that while they seem to have all the tools to create some impressive music, they never really deliver. The musicians are obviously talented, especially vocalist Steven Grindhaug (with mention of guitarist/vocalist Thor Erik Helgesen) who performs quite well, along with his band mates; there’s just nothing that sets off the fireworks. While songs like “Feelings Lost”, “Hatred Declared”, “Silent Voice” and “The Existing Darkness” show promise, it seems the band never realize it or accent their better elements, which is usually their mid-paced and clean sections. When the band gets on the aggressive side, the music tends to suffer and degrade into something completely generic.
WORSHIPPED BY CHAOS might be the band’s second album, but it definitely doesn’t sound like the band has enough experience in writing and performing emotional or intelligent music yet. The pieces of the puzzle are there, the band just needs to find a way to put it together.