“The Day I Die” opens the new album by Washington D.C.’s quartet A Sound of Thunder with such a phenomenal doom metal quality to it, and from there it goes into great metal riffage, and gets progressive and moody, too, later on. All this with high-range, quality female vocals by Nina Osegueda, Wonderful stuff. And this isn’t the end of it. There’s more of this goodness to follow.

Some nice retro feel infused in the album Out of the Darkness, too. There’s power metal, Helloween-style, on the title track. And the namesake song “A Sound of Thunder” is classic thrash mixed with power metal vocals. Think Lääz Rockit. And then there’s “Kill That Bitch,” which could be straight out the L.A. metal scene, mid-80s. In fact, I can picture Betsy Bitch of Bitch-fame singing this onstage at West Hollywood’s Troubadour in 1985.

At times choruses turn out a bit overdone, on the verge of getting too melodic, but then it pulls back to the appropriate full-out aggression. Plus, there is such a great classic metal guitar sound throughout, thanks to guitarist Josh Schwartz, that no true metalhead should be disappointed.

(Nightmare Records)