June 29, 2022

Thunder Rising is a traditional hard rock band put together by the Italian guitarist Frank Caruso (Firehouse, Arachness) and drummer Corrado Ciceri (Firehouse) and released a quite stunning old school hard rock album in 2012 with their eponymous debut featuring the golden voice of Mark Boals (Malmsteen, Ring Of Fire). If you do not already have it then check it out as it is a perfect example of how hard rock should be delivered.

The band has since released a couple of EPs but we now come to what the fans have waited a long time for with the band’s second album Back To The Time Of Rock. The title is very apt as this release takes us back to the 1970s when hard rock was king and bands like Zeppelin, Purple and Sabbath swept all before them. The team has changed somewhat and this version of Thunder Rising sees Frank Caruso and Corrado Ciceri being joined by Frank’s brother Enzo on keyboards and backing vocals, Gabriele Baroni on bass and the sensational Alessio Spini on vocals. The new version of the band has deliberately kept within the theme of the debut by retaining the old school approach and sound even to the extent of using instruments and techniques appropriate to the period especially using and emulating analogue equipment, mixing controls and even old sounds such as tape-echo to give that old ‘classic’ sound.

It is obvious that a lot of care and attention to detail has gone into the song writing and performances making this a worthy successor to the debut and a damn fine album in its own right. There is a definite feel of the American melodic rock bands of the 1980s especially in the song writing so you do pick up sounds of bands like Journey but the overriding sound is British hard rock from the ’70s especially Bad Company, Deep Purple and Whitesnake. Indeed, listen to Timeless Blues without thinking Purple Mark II and Jon Lord in particular and Rock From The Sky is Purple Mark III personified. The band did release a couple of EPs last year in TR III and The Time Machine and many of those tracks have made it to this new album albeit in modified or as different versions but all are valid and it is interesting to see the process involved in the development of the music on the album.

Back To The Time Of Rock is a joyous affair filled to the brim with old school hard rock and will delight anyone who hears it. As usual, Frank Caruso is on fire with his exquisite solos and Jon Lord must be looking down and smiling at his brother Enzo with his superb keyboard skills and Alessio Spini has to be heard as this singer is going to go right to the top, sensational.

Back To The Time Of Rock

  1. Fate Train (3:53)
  2. Black Tiger (3:36)
  3. Scratches On The Hood (3:33)
  4. I’m Still Alive (3:45)
  5. Timeless Blues (4:10)
  6. Rock From The Sky (3:30)
  7. Don’t Be Shy (3:21)
  8. Nameless (5:28)
  9. Escape From You (3:26)
  10. Labyrinth Of Spectres (3:20)
  11. Nameless (Second Movement) (2:55)
  12. Stairs To The Top (CD Bonus Track) (3:40)