When most metal fans hear the name Thobbe Englund they remember him as a guitarist for Sabaton. It is time to stop that line of thinking and start thinking about Thobbe as a great solo artist. His latest album Sold my Soul is proof of that. When I started listening to this album I came to a unique conclusion. Tony Iommi and Yngwie Malmsteen at one time had a love child and his name is Thobbe Englund. This album is such an eclectic metal album. How many times have you heard “Eclectic” and “Metal” used in the same sentence? How many times have you heard “Eclectic” used in a metal review? You probably never have, but that is the best way I can describe Sold My Soul. This album is a creative homage to some of Thobbe’s influences.
The first track on the album is “Sold my Soul” and it literally screams Judas Priest. The track combines a fast pace and Thobbe’s high-pitched vocals for an amazing opener. The next track is “Annihilation.” This track has the feel of a Deep Purple song with scorching guitar work that can only be Thobbe. The third track on the album is “I Am.” This track has some of my favorite lyrics:
“I am the moonlight
I’m the cat
I am the spider
on your back
Look behind you, look up to the sky
I am the lion and the eagles that fly
I am your mother, your father and your soul
and the wind, the desert and the cold”
Track four “The Glow” is where I hear Black Sabbath so vividly. The track is short but eerie. It has the old record distortion sound to it making it sound even creepier. “It Burns!” is one track I can listen to over and over. It has the sound of Richie Blackmore and Rainbow. Thobbe’s vocal range is showcased at its best on this track. He is able to hit the high notes and then drop down making this track outstanding. My favorite track on the album is by far “Steel and Thunder.” It has an early Deep Purple sound with some Kiss’ “Detroit Rock City.” How can you not love a metal song that has lyrics like these:
“Riding hard and riding fast
Steel and Thunder
“The Flame” is an instrumental track that pays homage to one of Thobbe’s chief influences, Yngwie Malmsteen.
“Wounded Knee” is a track that was really moving to me. The song chronicles the events surrounding Wounded Knee. The track features Niles Patrik Johansson (Astral Doors, formerly Civil War) on lead vocals. The track is melodic and heavy and has a very unique sound to it. The album ends with another Black Sabbath sounding track called “The Ashes.” This track also has an eerie dark sound that could easily have been a hidden track on the first Black Sabbath Album.
I cannot say enough of good things about this album. Don’t buy this album expecting a post Sabaton album. Buy this album expecting a kick ass metal album that pays respect to some of Thobbe’s influences. If you do that you will have an album you want to listen to over and over. If that doesn’t convince you to buy this album consider this: “Riding on and riding fast steel and thunder up your ass!”
As part two of this review, I had an opportunity to sit down with Mr. Thobbe Englund via email and ask him a few questions. Stay tuned . . .
Sold My Soul is available here: http://amzn.to/2lN2WA0