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Thornbridge “Daydream Illusion” Album Review by Curtis J. Dupree

THORNBRIDGE band

From the land of Germany comes the third album from power metallers Thornbridge. And what an album it is! I’ll go ahead and say it upfront: if you like European power metal, then you must make sure to get your hands on Daydream Illusion. We’ve gotten some good power metal already this year, and this release is sitting comfortably at the top of the heap. 

Everything is in place here. The vocals are strong and contribute wonderful melodies. The guitar work is top notch, giving us both killer riffs and compelling leads. The bass anchors everything down, and the drums are executed flawlessly. The production also deserves note, as everything is crisp and clear, with the appropriate sonic space given to each part. 

But what really makes Daydream Illusion such a worthwhile listen is the songs. To quote the press release, this album “is a bit more melancholic and magical…. Special attention was paid to catchy melodies and lyrics.” This description is quite accurate. I also need to note that the album follows a story. Again, from the press release: “The concept album tells the story of a boy who tries to save his dream world and its characters from the destruction and violence he is confronted with in his real life in the form of questionable and inhumane ‘healing methods’ and surgeries in a mental asylum set in the early Victorian era.” Thankfully, it is not required that you follow the storyline in order to enjoy the music, as the songs are so well-written that they stand on their own, apart from the concept.

After a brief intro titled, “Come on in!” that sounds like a carnival piece, we kick off with the title track. This song boasts a great riff and good use of double-kick. The verses are catchy and the chorus is quite appealing. 

Kingdom of Starlight” follows with more great riffing. The song is structured quite well, showing Thornbridge’s compositional skills. The verses and prechorus are worthy of note, and the chorus is nothing short of sing-along in style. The lead work here stands out, as well.

Kicking up the intensity is “I Am the Storm.” The riff work remains excellent and we get a very catchy chorus. The bridge features a super catchy sing-along section. 

Sacrifice” begins with a thrashier riff before a delectable power metal riff kicks in. The song is quite speedy, but the chorus is quite hooky. Great lead work can be found here, too.

A killer squealing riff drives “Island of My Memories.” The chorus is nothing short of lovely. 

Send Me a Light” boasts a lovely piano melody and a powerful chorus. This is how a ballad should sound.

Classic power metal riffing and vocal melodies drive “Bird of Salvation,” and I mean that in a good way. It’s hard for me to see any fan of the genre being disappointed in songs like this. 

The band kicks up the intensity a bit for “Final War.” Nevertheless, the song remains supremely catchy. The prechorus is excellent and the chorus will have you singing along. The soloing on this song is top notch.

My Last Desire” gives us another appealing riff and even a brief breakdown that works quite well. The verses are particularly catchy and the chorus is hooky. The drums are a highlight of this song. 

Finally, the album concludes with “Lost on the Dark Side.” The riff in the verses is great and the chorus is appealing. There is even a good use of acoustic guitar in the bridge and the ending, and the lead work is compelling.

I realize I’m mostly gushing in this review, but I can’t help it. By way of critique, I guess I can say that Thornbridge isn’t really reinventing the wheel. But when they do the style this well, why should they try to reinvent it? One thing that kept impressing me with this release is the riff quality. It can be easy for power metal bands to rely on the vocals to carry the songs, but Thornbridge makes sure to bring their A-game to the riff writing, as well. There is not a bad song on this album and it will be hard for subsequent power metal releases this year to challenge Thornbridge for supremacy. Daydream Illusion is a must buy. 

Curtis’ rating: 9.5/10

“Daydream Illusion” will be coming out as CD Digipak, Ltd. Vinyl LP and Digital formats, the pre-sale is available at https://lnk.to/daydreamillusion

THORNBRIDGE album

“Daydream Illusion” track listing:

  1. Come on in!
  2. Daydream Illusion
  3. Kingdom of starlight
  4. I am the storm
  5. Sacrifice
  6. Island of my memories
  7. Send me a light
  8. Bird of salvation
  9. Final War
  10. My last desire
  11. Lost on the dark side

THORNBRIDGE is:
Jörg “Mo” Naneder – Lead Vocals, Guitars
Patrick “Pat” Rogalski – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Thomas “Tomi” Göttlich – Bass
Vincent Bechtold – Drums

For More Info Visit:
https://www.thornbridge.de
https://www.facebook.com/thornbridgeband
https://www.instagram.com/Thornbridgeband
https://www.youtube.com/@ThornbridgeDe

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