Canadian bodybuilder and Jon Mikl Thor has carved himself an acting and singing career (among many other things), alongside winning several bodybuilding awards. His recording career started in the mid 70s (I’ve always loved the Keep The Dogs Away LP) and came to prominence in the 80s, with Kerrang! lauding over a London performance, and the album Only The Strong (which last year had a deluxe / expanded anniversary reissue) and its single Let The Blood Run Red. His stage show has included breaking concrete blocks on his chest, tearing telephone directories and blowing up hot water bottles like a balloon.
This new album, mixing classic trad metal with hints of punk, is classic from the outset, and guests includes members of Circle, Motorhead, Twisted Sister and many others.
Opener ‘Out Of Control’ really rocks in a chunky fashion, and the vocals are heavy forcefully spoken-word oriented. It also features Jussi Lehtisalo (Circle). The title track picks things up a gear or two, Fast Eddie Clarke adding an extra dimension. ‘Kings Of Thunder And Lightning’ (featuring Scott Carlson) has a slight alternative if dark feel. ‘The Hammer’ (Jay Jay French) is a solid number, and ‘Taste Of Victory’ (Betsy Bitch and Christian Death’s Rikk Agnew) has that punk edge, and ‘Drive’ is a real drivetime catchy metal track. In contrast Stars is a more balladic duet. Closing track Law Of The Universe is quite powerful and heartfelt.
Fifteen solid tracks of varying but largely quite dark heaviness, also feature Henry Rollins, Brian Forsythe (Kix), Jack Starr (Virgin Steele), Cheetah Chrome (The Dead Boys), Peter Stjärnvind (Krux) and Niklas Stålvind (Wolf).
Personally there’s not the stand out catchiness or obvious singles of ‘Keep The Dogs Away’ or ‘Only The Strong’, but it is probably his heaviest album yet. Heavy rhythms, exemplary guitar work, then there’s Jon Mikl Thor’s own presentation. Polished, solid, totally rocking. Those albums, in hindsight, are quite melodic compared to this. Rocking, indeed. 8/10