TNT – Knights Of The New Thunder [Japanese SHM-CD remastered]

TNT - Knights Of The New Thunder [Japanese SHM-CD remastered] full

Remastered and with its originally censored cover artwork , TNT‘s “Knights Of The New Thunder” was reissued by Universal Japan on high quality SHM-CD not so long ago as part of a three-album TNT reissue series also featuring albums Tell No Tales and Intuition, both already featured here on the blog.
So let’s check this “Knights Of The New Thunder”, TNT second album but the band’s first ‘international release’ recorded with their new vocalist Tony Harnell.

Finding terrific American singer Tony Harnell provided TNT their own strong identity which alongside guitar genius and primary songwriter Ronni Le Tekro would serve the band well for eight good to impossibly-great full length albums between 1984 and 2005.
Tony Harnell would be dubbed Tony Hansen for this album, to make him feel welcome amongst his new Scandinavian pals… or more likely to avoid accusations of ‘Americanization’ something Brits Def Leppard were being hit with left and right in 1984 (but they didn’t care, they were selling truckloads of albums in America).
TNT would never be so fortunate, but they were as deserving of Leppard-size global success.

“Knights Of The New Thunder” was their first confident stab at greatness. Each track is a splendid piece of pristine classic metal / hard rock highlighted with blistering guitar wizardry and charismatic vocals
Opener ‘Seven Seas’ is full of Viking imagery yet never becomes cartoon-y, built on a mean, punchy mid-paced main riff, and going a long way to prove TNT weren’t trying to sound too cosmopolitan just yet. Same can be said for ‘Tor With the Hammer’ which gallops along with plenty of Norse pride.

Despite a remarkably slick, squeaky-clean production, the album does not lack any power. It’s got a confidence and personality that the band lacked on their first try, and it certainly doesn’t hurt having Harnell slashing away with his godlike vocal gifts.
His voice is much like the production: a shimmering, shining thing of great strength and depth. He reaches some stratospheric highs too, heard in ‘Ready To Leave’, ‘Last Summer’s Evil’, epic title track ‘Knights of the Thunder’ and the incredible Halford / Crimson Glory’s Midnight-like squeals in ‘Deadly Metal’.

Le Tekro is a perfect match for Harnell: as fast and nimble as fellow Scandi Yngwie, as inventive / explosive as Mr. Van Halen, and having the manic precision panic of solo-era Vinnie Vincent, Le Tekro planted his feet firmly as a guitar genius extraordinaire with this album. It’s a recognizable six-string voice, to say the least. You’ll always know it when you hear it.

The first ever TNT song I heard ever was the incredible ‘Ready To Leave’ (the album highlight to me), mixing classy Euro metal riffs with a near AOR chorus. Topped off with soaring vocals from Harnell and gang-like backing vocals, it probably doesn’t get better than this.
Or perhaps it happens with beautiful AOR stylings of ‘Without Your Love’, a terrific ballad but still plenty of bite.
“Knights Of The New Thunder” was pretty successful in Europe, so their record label decided to launch TNT in the USA to capitalize their strengths in the raising hard rock scene.

The album’s original cover art featured this illustration of half naked women and caused controversy in Norway. A new artwork was made and used for the national and international editions, except for Japan where the album was released with its original cover, reproduced in this reissue.
The track Eddie’ was an exclusive bonus track on the CD edition in Europe, and replaced ‘Tor With The Hammer’ on USA version. The Japan edition included both. Additionally, ‘Deadly Metal’ has a different guitar solo.
This remastered SHM-CD sounds incredibly neat & punchy, put on sale at very affordable price.
Highly Recommended.

UICY-25141 ~ 【SHM-CD】
ナイツ・オブ・ザ・ニュー・サンダー / TNT

01 – Seven Seas
02 – Ready To Leave
03 – Klassisk Romance
04 – Last Summer’s Evil
05 – Without Your Love
06 – Tor With The Hammer
07 – Break The Ice
08 – U.S.A.
09 – Deadly Metal
10 – Knights Of The Thunder
11 – Eddie

Tony Harnell – vocals (credited as Tony Hansen)
Ronni Le Tekrø – guitars
Morty “Black” Skaget – bass guitar
Diesel Dahl – drums, percussion
additional personnel:
Bård Svendsen – keyboards and background vocals


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1 Response

  1. Michael says:

    Thanks a lot for those 3 TNT Highlights!
    I always thought the Viking Cover of "Knights…" were the Original.
    But these hilarious 2 beautys make my day. Unbelievable.

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