THUNDERBOLT - Apocalyptic Doom (AGONIA RECORDS - LP 2007)
If you’ve read my previous reviews, then you already know that I consider Thunderbolt to be one of the truly best black metal bands of the 00’s. Yes, this Polish legion of death is a malevolent force, which spawned some magnificent albums, of which “Inhuman Ritual Massmurder” is the perfect example for furious, devastating, utterly satanic black metal. The album is so intense and violent that it mutilates you and at the same time it’s not just about being fast and uncompromising, as it also has enough room for more atmospheric parts. And that only underlines the obscurity and eeriness of the music. So, you can realize that I also had great expectations for “Apocalyptic Doom”, which is the fourth full length LP of Thunderbolt. Sadly, it is also their last one, as soon after its release the band split up, mainly due to some fuckin problems, which they had with Agonia Records. I’m not gonna spread the rumours here though, no point doing it, especially as I quite like that label and many of their releases. But it is shitty situation, if such a killer band as Thunderbolt splits up so early… Good thing though is that on the ashes of Thunderbolt two other bands were formed: excellent Deus Mortem and Tortorum. But that’s another story… Here I’m going to write few words about “Apocalyptic Doom”.
And obviously my opinion on this album is again very, very positive. I mean, this band at some point raised the quality of their music into the dimension, which was reserved only for the best black metal bands and with “Apocalyptic Doom” they kept it intact. The album is just as good as its predecessor, it slays mercilessly and brings the annihilation of all what’s sacred and death and pain to the mankind! And more so, in my opinion “Apocalyptic Doom” is even faster and more relentless, more intense and violent when compared to its predecessor, on which Thunderbolt tried to incorporate some more atmospheric fragments, using keyboards here and there and having couple of acoustic songs. “Apocalyptic Doom” has nothing like this, and from start to finish it is a forceful attack, blasting with speed of light. Sure, there are some slower parts and “The Inner Beast” even begins with kind of industrial motif. But the main accent on “Apocalyptic Doom” is putted on fast and aggressive black metal.
In some ways this album reminds me Mayhem. And maybe I would even wish if Mayhem played something like this after “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” LP (but instead they decided to experiment with such albums like “Grand Declaration of War”… ahhh). Atmosphere wise it is quite similar I suppose and there’s also such song as “The Mark of Cain”, where even the vocals have been done in the Mayhemic style. There are also some arrangements, riffs and ideas, which I can put close to “De Mysteriis…”, maybe even to “Wolf’s Lair Abyss”. And it is awesome that Thunderbolt is bringing such resemblances. Obviously I can also bring comparisons to such bands as Urgehal, Gorgoroth, 1349, Tsjuder, maybe even to some Marduk… but I think that Thunderbolt was just better than Marduk, as they at least knew how to make more interesting songs, with a lot of killer ideas and arrangements of all instruments, instead of just ripping through with some monotonous and one dimensional playing. And really, basically every song on “Apocalyptic Doom” is superb, with few, which I find as extremely awesome. Which? Well, already the beginning is something I worship. First there’s a killer introduction titled “The Omen”, which transforms into a beast titled “Apocalyptic Doom”. Then there are such amazing anthems as “Infernal Redemption”, “Spadnie śmiertelny cios…” (where the Polish lyrics give something special and damn, I just love how it all sounds!), “The Mark of Cain”… Finally the LP version, which I was lucky to buy back at the day of release of this album, contains an exclusive track called “Damned Ones Anthem” and it is another fine piece of furious black metal. Arrrghhhh! What a killer stuff, really! So intense and powerful, so aggressive and violent!
I have no doubts that such LPs as “Inhuman Ritual Masmurder” and “Apocalyptic Doom” belong to the best black metal materials, which have been released this millennium. And I can only feel sorrow that the band split up and more so, there’s also this feeling not many maniacs know this band and value these two albums (and obviously the first two as well, as they were great also!). This is one of those underrated materials, which deserved more… So, if you ever have a chance to get a copy of it, especially the vinyl, take it without thinking twice!
Standout tracks: “The Omen”, “Apocalyptic Doom”, “Infernal Redemption”, “Spadnie śmiertelny cios…”
Final rate: 89/100