Ryuho Okawa’s ‘The Thunder” is an epic, rolling, soundscape – 8’15” of soaring composition in three parts, a gorgeous, haunting female vocal cutting in over the orchestral melodrama. It sounds, and I mean this in the most complimentary way possible, like the end credit music to a Michael Bay movie or, even more, a Hideo Kojima game, Metal Gear Solid or Death Stranding cut scenes rolling as the strings swell and the tympani crash. It’s that expansive and evocative.
It is a beautiful, well-crafted piece; a slow build of melancholy orchestration, deep long-drawn out ‘cello notes underlying pizzicato violin, and then three minutes in there’s a drop, the calm before the musical storm. That stunning vocal cuts in before a huge peal of orchestral thunder, a lift, and the drums rise to a militaristic tattoo, all snare rolls and marching beat, then the resolve at 5’30”, crescendo to key shift and then peace, the slow play out, the fierceness of the storm abating, tranquillity returning as the volume fades.
‘The Thunder’ is stunning; an absolute tempest of a track. You can hear it here, but be warned – you may need to take a moment after to catch your breath.
Review by Alex Holmes.