Thor – “Metal Avenger” (Deadline Music)
A former bodybuilding Mr Canada champion, Jon Mikl Thor’s concept of music with muscle goes back to the mid 70s when his namesake band first began treading the boards – along with his soon to be legendary stage show of bending steel bars gripped by his teeth and exploding hot water bottles with his lungs! After releasing his debut “Keep The Dogs Away”, Thor went to the UK where his outrageous stage show was lapped up sensationally, causing the band to actually move to London while they recorded their winning “Only The Strong” album in 1985 with unforgettable songs like ‘Let The Blood Run Red’ and ‘Thunder On The Tundra’. Two years later and Thor would fold the band in favor of an acting career that would last until the turn of the century. However, from 2000 to 2011 he would return to music and release a slew of albums along with sporadic touring. With the return of original guitar player Frank Soda in 2011, things started to take off once more with increased festival appearances, the movie “Thor – The Rock Opera”, getting signed to a label and the back catalog being re-issued as special editions. Last year, a new film documentary “I Am Thor” was in the works and now we have what I believe to be Jon Mikl Thor’s most ambitious and finest hour – “Metal Avenger”! With an unbelievable cast of guest musicians like Henry Rollins, Twisted Sister’s JJ French, Motorhead’s Fast Eddie Clarke, Betsy from Bitch, Virgin Steele’s Jack Starr, Christian Death’s Rikk Agnew and D.O.A.’s own Joey Shithead plus Ritchy Stotts of the Plasmatics, you have to seriously how this was made possible – but I guess all those years of touring makes you a few friends along the way! Centered around the sci fi concept of Thor freeing the slaves of the planet Psykon, what really makes it special is how musically and in particular vocally, Thor has excelled in showing his talents that few probably acknowledge beyond his stage show. Rather than having a single style, Thor has matched his singing to meet each one of his guests covering the rock spectrum from 70s hard rock to 80s metal, punk and even venturing into today’s dark rock – amazing – I always knew the man had talent but this is brains with brawn!! From the wild hardcore punk of ‘Master Of Revenge’ with Rollins to the brooding rock with its fiery blues solos of ‘The Hammer’ with JJ French’s screaming guitar to the singalong anthem of ‘Legions Of The Psykon World’ with Jack Starr, Thor has found the perfect balance of musicians to meet the material with award winning performances. Hell, he even gives Meat Loaf a run for his money on the tear jerky piano ballad of ‘Stars Upon Stars’ – a duet with hard as nails Betsy Bitch showing a tender side seldom seen to her whip wielding! I thoroughly enjoyed the 15 tracks on this album, many featuring other guests like The Dead Boys Cheetah Chrome – man, the list is endless so just buy this awesome release and get out there to see the legendary Thor and feel his power!!!