Whilst I myself haven’t heard much about Tornado, reading a bit about them certainly got a smile going on my face as I was about to enter the realm of their upcoming release ‘Commitment to Excellence’ which is out August 31st, 2018. Hailing from Tampere, Finland I was sure this would be dealt as an European band would; with strength and perseverance.
The album opener A Minute of Nothing brings in a finger licking riff from Tommy Shred and Timo Ponni alongside perfectly timed drumming from Jimmy Grey. A gnarly scream from singer Superstar Joey Severance brought a firey start to their latest album and was a sign that it wouldn’t slow at all.
With an opening that reminded me of both Evile and Slayer, White Horse of the Apocolypse keeps the thrash grind powering through with singled out guitar riffs very similar to how Jeff Hanneman (guitarist of Slayer), hard hitting drums and the tone given while singing. The double kick pedal was getting a good workout throughout the song. It’s obvious that Tornado have gotten a lot of influence from Slayer and the rest of the thrash community.
Global Pandemic brought what was very evident through the thrash world, although their lyrics for the song were quite different to what you’d usually expect. A lot of F*** you, F*** this, all whilst Superstar Joey Severance dons facepaint and a title belt. You can really feel the political sense of direction this band has.
Another hard hitting opening followed by a shallow slow solo, Spirit and Opportunity decided that it was going to push the energy throughout this band to 11. An odd change in vocal sound halfway through the song brought some diversity on their sound although being a thrash record it wasn’t going to change too much. Finishing the song with some very fast double kicks and quick riffs is just the way it should be done.
Nearing the halfway mark of the album now and the next song The Flight of Yuri Gargarin starts with an old timed radio communication with a slow guitar riff behind it…. that then becomes a bit more aggressive going forward. With quick flesh tearing riffs and the sped up drums coming back into play; kick pedals and all, the lyrics told a story and gave the idea that it was mission that perhaps Yuri Gargarin was potentially on. Solos galore helped close this song out.
Bass opened the next song with a riff that the guiatrists followed on. So far with every song it’s given heavy Slayer and even old Metallica vibes at some points, so I didn’t expect any less from Endless Forms of Torment in the slightest. With all the thrash riffs you love and the speed of the music that people enjoy while running the circle pits, it’s a no brainer that this is one of the strongest on the album.
A three minute song with a slow pace that sounded like some of the songs you’d hear at an Iron Maiden concert, reminiscent of Fear of the Dark or Hallowed Be Thy Name. The song Through Difficulties to Victory itself was quite different as for the most part the album has been very fast, heavy and gritty….whereas this is the complete opposite for a thrash record.
Supremecy went straight back into the thrash sound we love to listen to. ‘Here We Go, Here We Go, You Motherf***ers Have To Go’ is evident of some of the political sense that Tornado. A dirty, speedy song that shows off how well the boys in Tornado know their sound.
This album is full of future thrash anthems with Tornado not slowing down with Chaos Among the Ruins. The change of tempo and quick gruelling drums, combined with the duelling guitars was adamant of that.
A cover of Stormtroopers of Death (S.O.D) United Forces (forged in 1985 by Anthrax’s Scott Ian, was credited as one of the first to fuse Hardcore punk with Thrash metal) brought a definite circle pit, fist throwing pit anthem back to life. The speed and smashing drums were easily something to remember in this cover and boy did it deliver.
To close out this memerable album At the Chapel of Rest brought a long anthemic feel to the song. With a heavy medium pace going into it, the song produced some very well constructed solos and gave it depth. The song was done very similar to Suicidal Tendencies’ Institutionalised in the way it was him talking to someone and having what seems like an argument. With slow guitar strumming similar to how Metallica recorded their cover of Turn the Page it was a great way to close out them album.
Tornado have certainly outdone themselves with their new record and produced 11 songs of pure thrash metal. If you’re a big fan of thrash and its sub genres then you’ll absolutely enjoy this album.
Pre-order your copy of ‘Commitment to Excellence’ (available August 31st via Rockshots Records) HERE