Album Review: Sergeant Thunderhoof – Terra Solus
It’s been a while since I’ve taken a look at some music here on my site. I showcase the new music releases I purchase on my Instagram page rather than on here or on my YouTube channel as I find they don’t garner as much traffic as my collectibles/toys.
With all that said, I really wanted to make sure I did a review on this album that arrived about two months ago. It’s the new album by Sergeant Thunderhoof, Terra Solus. I’ve had a lot on my plate over the past little bit but with work and projects on the go and I just didn’t have the time to feature more stuff on here. I wanted to make sure that I still got back to this release to give it the recognition it deserved.
I got into this band back in 2015 when their debut album, Ride the Hoof, was released. I discovered them by being a subscriber to Terrorizer magazine and hearing them on the sample CD that accompanied every issue. I was blown away with the track “When Time Stood Still” and made sure I ordered a copy of the album on CD.
I’ve featured their CDs and the vinyl in previous music features on my site (use the search feature and you’ll see them and the companion video) because I’ve simply loved their releases. I’ve got everything they’ve released now on CD and vinyl. They are that good!
When their newest album went up on Kickstarter, I supported the band. In turn, the band was kind enough to send me a promo copy of the album on vinyl to review after I told them how much I loved the CD and how I was gunning to snag a vinyl copy down the line. Thanks, guys! By the way, just because they did that, that doesn’t affect my review of this release. My mind was made up after my second listen to this album on CD.
While I have enjoyed their past releases immensely, this album looks like it’s going to be the one to blow the door open for these guys. I find the variety found in each song, as well as how catchy the riffs are, make this their most enjoyable and diverse to date. I think it’s because of that variety that will hook even more fans. Plus, to tell you the truth, I think the hooks are even more catchy than anything they’ve come up previously – and that’s saying something.
Opener “Another Plane,” gives you a good preview of what you’re going to get with the album. It starts off with a majorly heavy, head banging riff and then sways into a more psychedelic feel you’d find with some of the release from The Sword. Just after the 5 minute mark, the band feels like they’re on a roll as bassist Jim Camp and drummer Darren Ashman hold the rhythm tight and steady while Mark Sayer gives a stellar lead performance over almost three minutes of jamming. It gives you the feeling like the band is playing a live set and really feeding off each other. It’s the kind of feeling that really pulls you into an album or mesmerizes you when you see a band play live.
Vocalist Dan Flitcroft is no slouch either on this album, not that he was on previous ones. He showing his prowess on the mic with his best clean vocal performances yet while also still being able to belt out ferocious lines and screams when the songs need them. The vocal hook for “Diesel Breath” and the chorus in “Gate Drive” will have you singing a long within your second spin of the album. Just like the music, the vocal delivery and lyrical content are diverse and have shown the growth of the band.
I find some of the riffing on the album, like in “Stellar Gate Drive,” to blend what you’d hear from bands like Kyuss, The Sword, Fu Manchu, and even some Sleep. These comparisons, of course, are nothing but positive. I’m not saying there’s any blatant ripping-off here, either. It’s a cool blend of styles that really make them stand out from all the bands in this genre.
The instrumental “B Oscillation” is a good example of the band embracing the feel of those bands as well and that live jamming feeling, but the song also brings out more of an atmospheric side to the band. It’s a tune you’d probably want to hear when you’re feeling “good” and gazing up at the night sky.
I suppose I can paraphrase by saying that if you’re a fan of metal, groove, stoner metal, make sure you check this out. I’ve been playing it non-stop alongside the new album by The Sword, and that has made for an excellent pairing so far this year. I can only imagine how the band will grow with by the time they write their next opus. This is a solid 9 out of 10 album for me, a front to backer, and already a contender to be in my top five of the year!
I’ll also add that the vinyl edition simply smokes. Everything sounds larger than life and is definitely the way to go for audiophiles. I think the album was specifically mastered for vinyl and you know the band cares about their sound because they’ve spread the album over two records instead of trying to compress it into one.