Thorium - Empires In The Sun (Freya Records)

  Van Muylem    5 maart 2021

Ostrogoth, axemen Dario Frodo, Stripe and Tom Tee found themselves overwhelmed by massive amounts of inspiration for new material, much of which proved to lie too much outside the boundaries of what they could rightly realize with Ostrogoth. Therefore, they decided to found a brand new formation into which to channel all these new ideas. With the addition of classically trained batterist Louis Van der Linden to the fold, the search was open for a powerful vocalist with a wide range and striking stage presence, which they found in seasoned Dutch singer David Marcelis (Lord Volture, Black Knight).

I already reviewed their previous EP and saw them on stage and loved them. Today it’s time for their full album!

Dreams Of Empire (Pastorale) almost sounds like a medieval track (with the acoustic guitar and the clapping of hands). It’s nothing more but an intro, but I have a feeling it could have become much more. But a bomb follows like in a natural way: Exquisite! David still sings like a younger version of Bruce (Iron Maiden) whilst the chorus is catchy as hell. Powder And Arms II is another version, but is still as muscled and powerful as the previous version. David’s voice still goes pretty high, whilst the backings gives the extra energetic shot. The guitars really sound excellent! Where Do We Go sounds melodic, powerful and gets some extra vocals. More Than Meets The Eye sounds like a melting pot of different voices, whilst David screams like the younger version of Bruce and keeps the lead! It’s hard to explain but I have a feeling that at some point the song gets a bit too much of input, too much happening at the same time, whilst the chorus ok is. Empire of The Sun gets an intro done by British actor and narrator Norman Eshley (Blind Guardian). Once the song gets into heavy metal you’ll hear a classic blast and strong vocals with a very melodic sound and sharp guitars! Old Generation sounds like written for them, but it’s fast and sharp with a very melodic sound and a good drive! Winterfall sounds epic with lots of twists and high pitched screams. Itching And Aching (Dead-Eyed Society) already sounds like a classic Thorium track! It’s fast and you can almost smell the snares who start to melt. The vocals are very impressive! 1302 The Ministrel Part I gives some medieval touch with the acoustic guitar and the retro 60’s sound in the vocals. Next one is the heavy metal version: 1302 The Golden Shadow. It sounds as if the song is cut into different pieces with different vocalists on top: Anneleen (who plays the role of Johanna Van Navarra) and Joe Van Audenhove (Evil Invaders), with in between David doing his own part. It’s real epic track with lots of pathos.

1302 The Ministrel Part II is a nice outro for a good album with some great extra’s and amazing songs and lot’s of twists! It’s clear that Thorium gets bigger and finds it’s own style!

You will also notice the use of guest vocals by artists such as Arjen A. Lucassen (Ayreon) as the ministrel (in part one and part two), Norman Eshley (Blind Guardian and British actor and narrator) does the spoken word in Witherfall and Empires In The Sun.

Well done!


Stripe: bassguitar/backing vocals

Tom Tas: guitars

Dario Frodo: guitars/backing vocals

Louis van der Linden: drums

David Marcelis: vocals