Charting his way back to the future, heavyweight avenger ups the gavel game.
Perhaps, Jon Mikl has spread his sonic palette too thin by following up on 2018’s "Christmas In Valhalla" with an offering that’s much less entertaining despite the evocation of his own old-time tropes such as the persona central to “Return Of The Thunderhawk” – both the documentary, which picks up where “I Am Thor” left off and accompanies this album on DVD, and the most alluring cut on it. There’s nothing wrong about its concept – with pieces like “Wötan” fleshing out the singer’s Norse shtick – and riffs may be hefty throughout, yet their dynamic range is too compressed to hammer the point home.
Still, it’s great to get in the groove that rolls from “Beginning Of The End” to “The End” in an ouroboros-esque way, although Mikl’s declamatory delivery doesn’t fully blend into accompaniment – save for the mainly instrumental “Victory” – whereas roaring harmonies of “Warp 5000” are rightfully histrionic to support the machine-gun rhythm. Heavy metal subsiding for the anthemic “It’s Our Right” can’t carry the momentum, though, as Jon’s vocal grip on space rock feels quite weak, while “Destroyinator” has the makings of a new stage favorite, and the titular number can fare well live, too. If this is not the end, as Thor seemed to suggest, he’d better get it all together and strike with all his might next time.