|Release Date||17 June 2019|
Mexican powerhouses Mighty Thor have thundered in once again to bring us their third record: Ragnarok. Their first effort in six years, Ragnarok features a new lineup and a much-needed makeover in both sound and mixing. On top of that, the band’s songwriting has matured greatly in this time off, which allows for massive and dynamic arrangements.
For an epic power metal band, the variety that Ragnarok offers surprised the hell out of me. Most of the tracks do have a certain predictable intensity to them, but there’s not a song on the record that comes close to repeating another. Additionally, the orchestrations don’t overpower the band but instead boost the sound high into the heavens.
In the wake of all of this, though, there’s nothing revolutionary happening here; the metal elements are heavy and fast, there are countless symphonic parts, and the feel is uplifting and, well, powerful. However, Mighty Thor have nailed the songwriting and execution of such an outfit, so they manage to stay a step above your run-of-the-mill epic power metal band.
Fueling this metal machine are musicians that are worth their weight in steel (which might mean less in a real-world sense, but you get it). The rhythm section, including newcomers Jean Pinet (bass) and Moises Flores (drums), pounds the fuck out of every song (except in the ballad ‘Mi Refugio’, where it pulls back so that some truly beautiful developments can take place). It’s also really nice to actually be able to hear the bass in the mix, as the previous Mighty Thor albums were so muddy that I had no idea what the shit I was hearing half the time. New frontman Uidemar Cuevas suits the band’s epic sound perfectly and balances his soaring vocals well with the raspiness in his voice and the guitarwork, courtesy of axemen Mario Dorantes and Eduardo Gutierrez, is simply killer.
Where their former works often sounded messy, tinny, and needlessly loud, Ragnarok is an absolute blast to listen to, and I enjoyed pretty much everything it threw at me. Between the mighty orchestrations, choruses, and riffs, there’s enough pump-up fuel here to energize even the mighty Mjolnir.
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