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Ghost Canyon

Title - 'Metal Avenger'
Artist - THOR

Already being heralded as "the comeback album of the year," THOR's brand new album, Metal Avenger is sure made of pure metal madness from the God of Thunder himself, THOR!

Thor, the heavy metal band from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, actually started out as a concept band in 1973. They were first called "Centaur" and then "Mikl Body Rock". These entities were the brainchild of Jon Mikl, a vocalist, musician and body building champion who won titles such as Mr. USA and Mr. Canada. He had decided to combine muscle with music.

Mikl Body Rock toured throughout North America seeking fame and to garnish enough attention to secure a record deal. The press dubbed them "Kings of Muscle Rock" or " Warriors of Gladiator Rock". In 1976 Jon Mikl met guitarist Frank Soda while touring Canada. They formed the first incarnation of Thor called "Thor and The Imps". The band toured constantly in the Eastern USA and Canada region building a large following.

The first album was recorded in Toronto, Canada under the name Thor and The Imps and was called "Muscle Rock". Released by the independent label, God Of Thunder Records, the record became an immediate success. Some 17 albums later, THOR have released Metal Avenger via DeadLine Records, a division of the infamous Cleopatra Records label.

Joining THOR on this epic recording is a slew of luminaries from both the rock and punk world, including Henry Rollins (Black Flag), Fast Eddie Clarke (Motörhead), Cheetah Chrome (The Dead Boys), Jay Jay French (Twisted Sister), Joey Shithead (D.O.A.) and many more!

1. "Out Of Control" - feat. Jussi Lehtisalo (Circle)
2. "Metal Avenger" - feat. Fast Eddie Clarke (Motörhead)
3. "Kings Of Thunder And Lightning" - feat. Scott Carlson (Repulsion)
4. "Master Of Revenge" - feat. Henry Rollins (Black Flag)
5. "Destruct" - feat. Brian Forsythe (Kix)
6. "The Hammer" - feat. Jay Jay French (Twisted Sister)
7. "Taste Of Victory" - feat. Betsy Bitch (Bitch) & Rikk Agnew (Christian Death)
8. "Heavy Load"
9. "Legions Of The Psykon World" - feat. Jack Starr (Virgin Steele)
10. "Drive" - feat. Cheetah Chrome (The Dead Boys)
11. "Stars Upon Stars - feat. Betsy Bitch (Bitch)
12. "T.H.O.R." - feat. Joey Shithead (D.O.A.)
13. "Atomic Man" - feat. Peter Stjårnvind (Krux)
14. "Wings Of Destiny" - feat. Niklas Stålvind (Wolf)
15. "Law Of The Universe"

Now, as much as I'm not a huge THOR fan, and haven't really kept up with their releases though the years, their last two - Aristocrat of Victory (2013) and the quite brilliant (to me) reissue Only The Strong Deluxe Edition (2014) were enough to hook me, that's for sure. Ergo, having heard them, and flirted back to some of their older material, I am quietly confident to reveal that I truly this Metal Avenger is exactly what all THOR fans have been waiting for since the early 80's!

Aside from the always-great new album cover, the totally-committed vocals, and over collective musicianship, and the title alone, Metal Avenger just keeps getting better and better with each listening party we have of it here in the office!

Produced by Bruce Duff (Twisted Roots) and engineered by Paul Roessler (The Screamers, 45 Grave), tracks such as album opener "Out Of Control," the demonic vocal tones of the title track, "Metal Avenger," the thunderous "Destruct," and both the metal thump of "The Hammer" and the power rock ballad "Stars Upon Stars" with Betsy Bitch, are all sequenced together perfectly; like they were seamlessly, and unknowingly, connecting a rock opera opus together.

Also, for all THOR fans, although I'm sure they already know this tidbit of information, the new film "I AM THOR" - directed by Ryan Wise and produced by Wise and Al Higbee - just had its world premiere in 2015, and actually also features, well, THOR, of course!