THUNDERSTONE had a contract with Nuclear Blast between 2002 and 2007. During this time, they released the following albums:
• Virus (2002, Single)
• Thunderstone (2002, info)
• The Burning (2004, info)
• Tools Of Destruction (2005, info | shop)
• 10.000 Ways (2007, Single)
• Forevermore (2007, Single, shop)
• Evolution 4.0 (2007, info | shop)
The shared national identity of a peer group which includes Children Of Bodom, Nightwish, Sonata Arctica, and Stratovarius often burdens emerging Finnish bands with a formidable reputation to uphold. Music fans with eyes firmly fixed on Finland are naturally inclined to make musical comparisons to established names when it comes to new talent, which makes them astute to unique characteristics such as impressive collective musical skill, mastery of harmonic constructions, a dynamic and talented lead vocalist, or all of the above. As an entity who appreciates humor (besides the notable absence of the word "love" from their lyrics, has anyone EVER gotten to the bottom of the unspoken and never repeated "Legend of the Eskimo's Kiss"?) as much as an intoxicating blend of passionately sung vocal lines, catchy choruses, and shredding guitars, Finland's THUNDERSTONE knows the definition of heavy and acknowledges their brand of traditional heavy metal as massive in ambition.
Formed in early 2000 by ex-speed/thrash Antidote guitarist Nino Laurenne as a project, his first demo was recorded at his personally owned Sonic Pump Studios. With a growing awareness of the project's potential, a commitment was made to create a full-fledged band. Laurenne then recruited former Antidote bandmate Titus Hjelm on bass and backing vocals, Pasi Rantanen on vocals, and Mirka Rantanen on drums. By the summer of 2001, Kari Tornack joined the ranks as keyboardist, and THUNDERSTONE evolved into a quintet. With a demo in circulation garnishing positive praise and the new line-up concentrating on writing new music, things came to the inevitable head in the Fall of 2001: Nuclear Blast's attention was captured, a record deal was secured, and THUNDERSTONE rushed into the studio within two weeks of the ink drying.
When THUNDERSTONE's 2002 self-titled debut hit worldwide audiences three years ago, the buzz proved to be loud. Recorded at Laurenne's own Sonic Pump Studios in Helsinki, Finland (with Laurenne as guitarist, producer, and engineer) and mixed by Mikko Karmila (Children Of Bodom, Amorphis) at Finnvox Studios (Sentenced, Moonspell, Stratovarius), the hunger so evident in those ten songs delivered an overall dynamite package, and the feel-good album easily etched itself into the annals of quality Finnish heavy metal. Featuring accomplished compositions, a guest appearance by Timo Tolkki (a friend of Laurenne's for over a decade who gave him his first-and-only guitar lesson) on "Like Father, Like Son," and artwork by well-known German visual artist Thomas Ewerhard (Hypocrisy, Sodom, Destruction), this new Finnish band ended the year with a strong presence on numerous year-end "Top Metal Albums Of 2002" lists. In 2003, after being named "Newcomer of the Year" by the readers of Rock Hard Magazine, THUNDERSTONE celebrated their accomplishments with an extensive European tour supporting Stratovarius & Symphony X.
Inspired by their own ability to leave a mark on the scene, THUNDERSTONE returned to Sonic Pump to record their sophomore album, The Burning, which featured Symphony X guitarist Michael Romeo on "Drawn To The Flame." The album not only coalesced the band's collective personality through faultless production, but captured a grittier and more uninhibited performance by vocalist Pasi Rantanen. Among many other accolades (such as the appearance of their promotional video for "Until We Touch The Burning Sun" on Finnish television), the album celebrated a meteoric rise to #13 on the official Finnish album chart. While their European tour with Iced Earth was cancelled due to Jon Schaffer's back injury, THUNDERSTONE were determined to maintain their momentum and quickly booked another tour with Axel Rudi Pell, crowning another successful year by playing for thousands of fans at the world's most well-known metal festival, Germany's Wacken Open Air.
Marked by a level of comfort with their success and showcasing the band at a new pinnacle, Tools Of Destruction - the band's third album recorded at Sonic Pump - is where you'll also hear THUNDERSTONE's accumulated live experience. They've obviously honed their vibrant sound and maximized it. One listen to the album's opening track, the breathtaking curtain-raiser "Tool Of The Devil," and the chorus' gargantuan hook will capture you as it did THUNDERSTONE's fellow Finns, who sent the song straight to #3 on the Finnish Singles Chart. Tools Of Destruction is sure to quicken your pulse with the intelligent simplicities of Pasi Rantanen's David Coverdale (Deep Purple/Whitesnake)-meets-Eric Martin (Mr. Big) emotive and versatile vocals of remarkable range, Titus and Mirka's intoxicating rhythms, Tornack's fluid runs, and Laurenne's impressive guitar solos, all contributing to the riff-laden "Without Wings," and the introspective ballad, "Another Time."
THUNDERSTONE's every album have accomplished new milestones, and Tools Of Destruction continues to assert them as defenders of Finnish metal's excellent reputation, accomplished musical tradition, and exemplary musical future.