Thor Call of the Triumphant

Canuck metal legend Thor will not relent. His last release, the rather stinky Dogz II, barely had time to not get noticed before its follow-up, Call of the Triumphant, was released. While Dogz II was a walk into the realm of nu metal, Call of the Triumphant finds Thor realising where he belongs and what he does best: classic melodic metal. Ditching the band of young nu-pups he had last time around in favour of a truly rocking backing band, Thor dishes out ten songs here, including revamped versions of classics "Anger" and "Thunder on the Tundra." Most of the tunes sound like a less raging version of Painkiller-era Priest, right down to Thor's oddly Halford-esque vocals. Get rid of the lame punk song and power ballad, give it a heavier production and this would be up there with Manowar's latest. There's still the question of where the silly fun and tongue-in-cheek irony begins and ends, but with songs like "Call of the Triumphant," it just doesn't matter. Now, where's my styrofoam mace? (Independent)