CD Reviews > Thor

Thor - Only The Strong

Asgardian thunder is shaking the very foundations of Midgard in celebration of the 25th anniversary of THOR’s Only The Strong! This anniversary is marked with the release of the album, re-mastered and including bonus surprises. THOR is also getting the magical goats – Tanngrisni and Tanngnost - harnessed to his Thunder Chariot for a World Tour!

Thor said, “We thought it was important to put this one out because it’s the 25th Anniversary of Only The Strong, which is one of our most successful albums ever in our career. A lot of people thought it was Keep The Dogs Away, but actually Only The Strong was our biggest seller. It’s got some of our most memorable hits, like "Thunder In The Tundra" and "Let The Blood Run Red", which did well on the charts in the UK at that time, then crossed over into the US as one of the Cult Hits.”

As befitting a Thunder God, the album shot like lightning up the UK charts when it was originally released in 1985 on the strength of such anthems as the title track, “Thunder In The Tundra”, “Let The Blood Run Red,” still audience favorites to this very day! The original release was on vinyl, however, and ravenous fans have hungered for the album to be released in CD form. Not only have their prayers reached Asgard itself, they’re treated to these favorite songs remastered with the strength and polish of a well-honed sword.

“We totally re-mastered and enhanced everything, remixed it,” said Thor. “I give all the credit to Steve Price and his studio Stepco Sound in Boca Raton, Florida, for doing that. Steve really worked hard in the re-mastering.”

Guitarist Steve Price was also on the original (and many other) Thor albums, and was part of the now-signature stage show following the album’s original release, where Thor not only excels on vocal abilities, but also showcases his incredible strength, bending steel, blowing up and bursting water bottles, and battling formidable foes. (The original “Only The Strong” line-up also featured Mike Favata on drums, Keith Zazzi on bass, and Cherry Bomb with backing vocals).

Thor is planning a video in support of the album’s re-release as well.

Although it only takes one listen to prove this album’s mastery, you’ll find it repeatedly in your CD player – I know The Crowgrrl does – and you’ll be humming some of these thunderous anthems long after the player has been turned off.

The intro – "2045" – leads us into this futuristic realm of Sword & Sorcery, setting the stage for the storyline running through the album and tying the songs together into a complete adventure (although each song stands strong on its own as well). The "Only The Strong" title track – which features an impressive shredding guitar solo – charges head-on into danger. The appropriately named "Start Raising Hell" does exactly that! Razor-sharp guitars lead the merciless assault in "Knock ‘Em Down".

The Metal Avenger decimates all opponents in the crowd-pleasing classic, "Let The Blood Run Red". The very warriors of Asgard itself lead the charge in the epic "When The Gods Collide". The pure fun anthem "Rock The City" has fists raised high in the air. "Now Comes The Storm" is a force of Nature unto itself, a befitting song for the Thunder God! (And it features another incredible guitar solo!)

The victorious Thunder God battles giants, dragons, and other formidable in the timeless classic "Thunder On The Tundra". The searing "Hot Flames" uses burning desires to gain conquering control. Berzerkers charge into the heat of battle in "Ride of the Chariots". Although "Lady of the Night" wasn’t on the original album’s release, it’s indeed a shining polished onyx gem here as it unleashes pure unbridled passion. And the CD features another tasty treat – the bonus track "Warriors of the Universe" recorded live at the Sweden Rock Festival in 2009! The Crowgrrl highly recommends this album!

~Athena Schaffer