Monday, October 15, 2012

Thin Lizzy - Thunder and Lightning

"The Epitaph of Thin Lizzy"

Thunder and Lightning was released one year before the break up of Thin Lizzy, and merely three years before the tragic death of the iconic frontman, bassist and songwriter, Phil Lynott. It is very sad, that this was the last Thin Lizzy album, but they sure went out with a bang.

Immediately when the title track begins you can hear the sheer power from John Sykes' guitar expertise, who replaced Snowy White after he left because of Lynott's drug addiction and the unorganized schedules. Sykes really helped bringing renewed energy to what else seemed the remains of the wrecked Thin Lizzy, especially on the track 'Cold Sweat' which he co-wrote. Scott Gorham's riffing or solo skills never gets boring, that man is one of most talented musicians of all time. This album is quite different from all previous Thin Lizzy albums, it is very diverse through out the whole album, like all the other records even though they have a more pummeling sound. Downey is just pounding the life out of the drums with his veracious beats and opening the hi-hat at the end of each bar (seriously, that man is obsessed with it), and by the way, the fill in the beginning of 'Someday She Is Going To Hit Back' is quite astonishing. Phil's vocals have become a little rougher and he seems to yell a bit also, his drug abuse probably had something to do with it, but needless to say they still sound amazing. The bass aren't very audible (except on 'The Holy War' and 'The Sun Goes Down'), which is a shame because we all know that Phil can produce some fantastic bass-lines. Now we come to the most disappointing part of the album, the keyboards. Now I ain't saying that Darren Wharton is bad at playing keyboard, he did a great job on Renegade. But on this record they just seem worthless and cheesy, to be honest. The only track they gain any atmosphere on is 'The Sun Goes Down', and the synth solo on the title track is kinda interesting, but that alone can't save no-good and foolish sound of the keyboards.

Now there ain't much to say about song structure on this album, it is definitely the most straightforward, hard-rocking record they ever did. The only song that comes to mind that's even remotely as rocking is 'Jailbreak'. Every song on this record is build to sound catchy, it is NWOBHM to the bone (even though they are Irish). The title track and 'Cold Sweat' are definitely the most heavy metal sounding tracks of the album, they just pound and pummel with heavy verses and catchy choruses. 'The Holy War' is a song that mostly resembles Thin Lizzy's earlier days but still brings something new to the table. 'Someday She's Going To Hit Back' and ' Baby Please Don't Go' are fast beat rocking songs with great harmonies. 'The Sun Goes Down' is a very slow and moody song, unquestionably a song thats stands out from all of Thin Lizzy's catalogue. The last song worthy to mention is 'Bad Habits', an up-tempo song with blistering solos and a heavy breakdown.

Needless to say, this album is very close at heavy metal perfection and its too bad that Thin Lizzy did not survive to further this more, simple and hard rocking version of themselves. The album is very coherent with no experimentations, it is very dark (at some points) with no jolly and funky songs. And that is why it is a first-class heavy album.