Album: Thorns

Genre: Heavy Rock / Metal

Release Date: January 14th, 2022

Country: UK

Label: Battlegod Productions

Band Links: FACEBOOK

Some artists don’t need an introduction, and in case of Tony Martin reputation definitely precedes. But having been the former vocalist of one of the most influential bands in heavy metal history can be blessing and curse in one, as later work inevitably will be compared. With “Thorns”, the singer released his fourth solo album on January 14th, 2022 (via Battlegod Productions), also featuring guitarist Scott McClellan (who helped co-write the album), Danny Needham (Venom) on drums and bassist Magnus Rosen (Hammerfall) among others. I was curious to hear what Tony Martin has to offer in 2022, and wanna try to reflect upon it on its own. 

“As the World Burns” is a powerful opener, dark in its mood, with a rough guitar tone as well as a pushing rhythmic, and Tony Martin makes clear from the beginning that he’s still a master on the mic. A breakdown at the end slows down tempo and brings in a thoughtful moment. “Black Widow Angel” has a certain energy at the beginning, but loses tension during the refrain, getting too repetitive for my personal taste over the full length - but I guess it will appeal to the doom fans.

The following “Book of Shadows” starts with a choir, on whose harmonies Tony Martin develops his great vocal performance, first only supported by percussion and bass, with keyboard and cello joining later. I like the melancholic vibe here, and this might be one of my favorite songs on “Thorns”. “Crying Wolf” comes along with acoustic instrumentation, and even though the rhythms and chords are quite simple, it’s a powerful song. 

While “No Shame” is groovy and straight forward, with the blues vibe fitting perfectly to Martin’s voice, “This is your Damnation” takes us again into acoustic fields. “Passion Killer” and “Run like the Devil” come along rough and heavy, which is highly appreciated here, also offering some great guitar work. Just “Nowhere to Fly” and “Thorns” became too tame for me musically because of too little variety in the song-writing.

With eleven tracks and a playing time of 50 minutes, “Thorns” offers some great music for rock fans, carried by Tony Martin’s strong vocal performance, but also the one or other filler. There are some surprising variations in the compositions, like the choir or the acoustic songs, that help to keep things interesting. All musicians involved add the right expression to the songs with their amazing playing and mainly dark sound. All-together an album worth to check it out.  

Written by Katha


1. As the World Burns

2. Black Widow Angel

3. Book of Shadows

4. Crying Wolf

5. Damned by You

6. No Shame

7. Nowhere to Fly

8. Passion Killer

9. Run Like the Devil

10. This is your Damnation

11. Thorns