Thundra - Ignored By Fear

Ex-members of Enslaved (drummer Harald) and Enherjer (bassist Stein Sund) unite under the guise of Thundra for their third album of atmospheric, blackened Viking metal. Much like many other Norwegian bred productions that fall under this category, Ignored By Fear offers a rich production, epic songs and good balance of harsh and clean / folk metal-styled vocals. In many ways, Thundra is reminiscent of a band like Arcturus or a less experimental Borknagar, though they manage to bring enough different elements and identity to the table to make their own mark.

First off, opening track “Inner Struggle” could be a one-song EP unto itself. This nine-minute opus delivers a plethora of epic black metal, prog-minded riffing and melodic death metal all in one song. This massive and ambitious tunes sets the bar quite high for the rest of the album, but Thundra follow up well with the explosive “Storm Within.” Starting off in the realm of brutal death, this multi-faceted tune spends much of its eight minutes at a breakneck pace, but revisits some of the prog-ish moments of the preceding track and incorporates some beautifully played clean guitar which backs a rather tuneful Pink Floyd-styled solo.

While the opening two songs are easily standouts, the rest of Ignored By Fear is by no means filler material. Blast-beat backed black metal and slower melodic passages make “Formed By Power” an interesting listen, while the band reverts back to the death (and a bit of doom) metal heard on “Storm Within” for “Scarred” and “Suffocation.” Of course, none of these tracks are without the core Viking / Pagan BM influence.

As a whole, “Ignored By Fear” is a pretty damn incredible album. The songs are all well arranged and excellently preformed, but this is not a disc without flaws. The biggest complaint I have is that Thundra seem to have found a comfort zone and refuse to budge from it. It seems that every track, regardless of the different subgenres the band plucks inspiration from, follows a formula that somehow combines harsh vocals, clean vocals and  acoustic guitar accompanied by a solo  in one form or another. Not that Thundra don’t excel at what they do, but this would have been a much more well-rounded and impressionable album had they taken a few chances.

1. Inner Struggle
2. Storm Within
3. Formed By Power
4. Scarred
5. As I
6. Suffocation
7. The Gate

Einheit Produktionen
Reviewer: Ryan Ogle
Feb 19, 2010

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