With two albums under their belt, Finnish progpower outfit Thaurorod have shown heaps of potential while never really living up to it. Their efforts have been lacking that certain something - until now, that is, as they deliver what will likely become their defining moment of glory. Coast Of Gold comes five years after the release of its predecessor, the band’s sophomore effort Anteinferno (2013), and if that album was a huge step up in intensity and songwriting chops from debut album Upon Haunted Battlefields (2010), this new album is a straight up punch in the jaw, as made immediately obvious in opening track Power and the following The Commonwealth Lives. The two tracks are high octane, kickass melodic crotch punchers that set the album off on a distinctly high note that already blows most of the previous material out of the gate. The first half of the album is a revelry in speedy melodics in the likes of Theocracy, with hints of Unisonic intensity and melodies out of Avantasia’s more power metal-ish numbers.
Thriving guitar lines, pounding drums and catchy riffage are tossed in with perfect marksmanship as the songs line up. Each following song delivering incredibly catchy melodies while soaring vocal lines gem the choruses like pearls, Andi Kravljaca’s (Aeon Zen, ex- Seventh Wonder) distinct voice delivering the goods, balancing expertly the difference between cheesiness and the innate power of his voice. From the immediately catching opener Power that delivers just that - power - to more progressively built 24601 and beautifully epic Feed The Flame, everything here just hits the spot perfectly, with the blistering guitar work of Lasse Nyman and Emil ‘Emppu’ Pohjalainen (Amberian Dawn) melding neatly with Harri Koskela’s (Embassy Of Silence) keyboards. The second half is slightly more subtle in delivery, but no less potent once you get to really experiencing it; set around mid tempo tracks and slightly more prog built structures, and with great moments particularly in Into The Flood and Illuminati.
The album sort of lacks something huge and epic, the likes of the title track from the previous album, but still does well without one. The shorter songs don’t rely so much on slowly building the epic scope, but still retains it, as it were. The closest would be seven minute Illuminati which follows in the same steps as ten minute Anteinferno from the previous album, though as with the rest of the album, kicks up the intensity and the instrumental delivery up a notch or two. Perhaps the weakest spot is closing ballad Halla, which although delivered with ample emotion and packing some great melodies doesn’t quite engage just like the rest of the material on here. A few years of building and songwriting seems to have done Thaurorod a world of good. The result being an album which is wholly better than anything the band has put out before it, and the best album of 2018 thus far. If in doubt after the previous two releases, Coast Of Gold displays that Thaurorod can deliver exactly the opening track states; Power.
Standout tracks: Power, 24601, Feed The Flame