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The Magnificent Seventh
May 2005
Released: 2005, Frontiers Records/Atenzia Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

Apparently Thunder are back in the game again even though I thought they had quit a long time ago! Bowes and Morley released their second solo album last year and that was a release that’s not going to be remembered as their best.

Thunder was laid to rest for about two years but in 02 they were asked to be special guests at UK Monsters of Rock tour and of course they accepted. The tour was a big success for the band and they decided to record a new album that was released at the beginning of 03 called SHOOTING AT THE SUN. And they went off on another tour on that album across Europe with Deep Purple. And now we are finally here today with the release of their seventh album called simply THE MAGNIFICENT SEVENTH.

The main songwriter in the band is the guitar player, Luke Morley, but besides writing the material and playing guitar he has also produced this album. The recording was made during last summer. The drums and bass was recorded in Chapel Studios in Lincolnshire UK and the rest was recorded in Thunders own studio Chez Bez in London. As a producer, Luke does a fine job and he administers the heritage of old Thunder really well. Luke has managed to keep the dirty and rough sound picture intact and that’s what’s made them big in the first place. He left a lot of space for vocals and guitars, keyboards are also listed but I can’t hear it. Danny still has his voice intact and I think he sounds just as good today as he did back in the day.

Thunder have their foundation in the classic 70’s rock scene, but they have combined it with heavy rock’n’roll and 70’s hard rock. Their English fans haven’t forgot about them ‘cause when the first single “I love you more than rock’n’roll” came it climbed pretty high on the English top 40 chart and became their 17th hit so far. The songs “I love you more than rock’n’roll”, “The gods of love”, “The pride” and “You can’t keep a good woman down” are all heavy rock’n’roll tracks and the biggest part of the soundpicture belongs to lead vocals. “Monkey see, monkey do”, “Amy’s on the run”, “Fade into the sun”, “One foot in the grave” and “One fatal kiss” leans more into the melodic rock’n’roll department. The ones that impress the most in these songs are Luke and Ben. They have narrowed down the ballads to two, those are called “I’m dreaming again” and “Together or apart”

Even if Thunder haven’t impressed me so much through the years, I haven’t so much to complain about here and to my surprise they still show that they are a force to count with. The material is equally high on each and every track except for the ballads which are quite boring. As usual, the looks of the cover is a bit doubtful - one can wonder why hasn't the label put more money into the artwork. Thunder is not counted out yet, and this is one of those albums that grows the more you listen to it.

Labels: and
Track Listing

I love you more than rock’n’roll
The gods of love
Monkey see, monkey do
I’m dreaming again
Amy’s on the run
The pride
Fade into the sun
Together or apart
You can’t keep a good man down
One foot in the grave
One fatal kiss


Ben Matthews – rhythm guitar, keyboards
Chris Childs – bass
Danny Bowes – lead vocals
Harry James – drums
Luke Morley – guitar

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