Visceral Finnish national chart topping power metal quintet Thunderstone, whose aptly titled fifth studio album ‘Dirt Metal’ is set for release on May 24th on SPV / Steamhammer Records, will preview their new album at a very special gig at the Lexington, London N1 9JB, on April 15th.

Thunderstone were personally chosen to headline the Nordic Embassies’ JA JA JA Metal Night at the Lexington on April 15th by Metal Hammer editor Alexander Milas, who is curating the evening, designed to showcase some of the finest metal talent Scandinavia has to offer. Vreid, from Norway, and Solstafie, from Iceland, complete the line-up. “I aimed for three bands who I think are very representative of their respective countries,” says Milas, continuing “Thunderstone sound absolutely brilliant, so selfishly speaking, I wanted to hear that power metal live and see if they can pull it off.”

Thunderstone were formed in 2000 by ex-speed/thrash Antidote guitarist Nino Laurenne, who drafted in former Antidote band mate Titus Hjelm on bass and backing vocals, Pasi Rantanen on vocals, Mirka Rantanen on drums and finally, in the summer of 2001, Kari Tornack on keyboards. Thunderstone’s demos were so shit hot that they had been snapped up by Nuclear Blast Records by the end of 2001, who put them into the studio straight away to record their self-titled debut, released in the Spring of 2002. ‘Thunderstone’ featured heavily in numerous year-end ‘Top Metal Albums of 2002’ lists, and after winning the readers of Rock Hard Magazine’s ‘Newcomer Of The Year’ readers’ poll, Thunderstone set off on an extensive European tour supporting Stratovarius and Symphony X.

‘The Burning’, Thunderstone’s (2003) sophomore album, featuring Symphony X guitarist Michael Romeo on ‘Drawn To The Flame’, was propelled to number 13 in the Finnish national album charts and the band wowed thousands of new fans at their first appearance at Germany’s huge Wacken Festival that year. ‘Tools of Destruction’, Thunderstone’s third (2005) album, spawned a top 3 Finnish chart single hit, ‘Tool Of The Devil’, and the band set off on their first headlining European tour with label mates Crystal Ball.

In Autumn 2006, while recording their 4th album, Thunderstone were invited to take part in the Finnish Eurovision song contest. What started almost as a joke ended up a phenomenal success when the band were voted second, losing only narrowly to Finnish pop idol Hanna Pakarinen. Two singles, ‘10,000 Ways’ and ‘Forever More’ / ‘Face In The Mirror’, released straight afterwards, crashed straight into the top 3 of the Finnish single charts, helping to propel the group’s subsequent ‘Evolution 4.0’ album, to the top of the album charts in March 2007.

Then in August 2007, musical differences (and motivation problems) caused the shock departure of singer Pasi Rantanen and keyboard player Kari Tornack. By February 2008, Swedish wide ranging powerhouse vocalist Rick Altzi, and keyboard player Jukka Karinen had been recruited to the Thunderstone line-up, and in the summer of 2008 the Finnish-Swedish mayhem crew retired to a cabin in the Finnish woods to write and record new songs.

The resultant ‘Dirt Metal’ album - heavier and darker than any previous Thunderstone offering - is an irresistible, exuberant, hard hitting soon-to-be-hailed-classic metal masterpiece.

Thunderstoned – Roland Hyams on 020 8677 8466

12th April 2010