BLACK THUNDER — La Fine Creata (review)

BLACK THUNDER — La Fine Creata album cover Album · 2020 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
voila_la_scorie
The western provinces of Canada seem to be a hotbed for stoner rock and metal and heavy psychedelic rock. Must be that famous B.C. bud! Regina, Saskatchewan's Black Thunder have been going at it (the music I mean; I don't know about the bud) since 2009 and released their fourth full-length album in March of this year (2020 for those reading this in the future).

Their sound has evolved since their first two albums which had a certain Vincebus Eruptum sound to the guitars: raw, distorted, retro. Their third album "III" delivered a heavier guitar sound and more aggressive style of playing, or so that's my impression from cursory listens to their albums while adding this band to this web site. But while everything up to now has been in the stoner rock / heavy psych camp and even pushing stoner metal with their third album, "La Fine Creata" brings something new to their repertoire.

I'll be honest when I say at first I was almost disappointed with the album and band because there were so many stop and start instrumental passages and odd time signatures that I felt the band was trying to be prog by overdoing just one of the signature aspects of progressive rock. When a band relies too much on stop/start music or off kilter time signatures, I feel like they are forcing a prog impression on us. But even though this album does include a lot of this approach to composing and playing, I soon began to feel comfortable with it as the album played on.

Actually, there are many moments when I was reminded of Voivod from the "Killing Technology" to "Nothingface" period not only because of the jilted and skewered take on time signatures but also the guitar sound and vocals. The second band to come to mind was Seven Impale, obviously here without the saxophones.

Being influenced of course by the mighty Sabbath, there's a distinct groove to their riffs. In the end, the album proves to be an interesting blend of grooving stoner riffs, Voivod-like vocals and guitar riffs in places, Seven Impale-esque time signature twists, and an overall sound that is catchy. The band sounds smoother and more together there than on their previous albums which have a distinct gritty and raw sound to the guitars.

This album sees the introduction of synthesizers to the band's music. Have no fear though. The keyboards are used for psychedelic atmospherics and adding some trippiness to the eased back, funky groove passages such as in "Bekenstein Limit" and "Lack of Photos". Here I'm reminded of Glenn Hughes.

I started out giving this album 3 and a half stars (the RYM rating is three stars from 2 ratings). But it's been growing on me as I have been digging into the music during the writing of this review. I have to give four stars.
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Tupan wrote:
43 days ago
I agree after listening, and was surprised by the similarities with Voivod.
43 days ago
I’m glad you agree with the prog metal tag. I wasn’t sure because it seems more like heavy stoner prog but we don’t have a category for that. Ha ha!
Tupan wrote:
44 days ago
Seems interesting, aggressive prog metal (with Nothingface influence!) it's what I need!

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