For what would turn out to be their last album, Irish hard rockers Thin Lizzy adopted a heavier, more metallic sound than ever before. Sure, the band had more than flirted with heavy metal in the past, but never quite to this degree on album length.
The title track, which opens the album, sets the tone: surprisingly fast for Thin Lizzy, with frantic vocals by legendary singer/bass player Phil Lynott, and sharp riffing. NWOBHM this ain’t, though; this is more reminiscent of the heavy metal of bands ten years prior. And it still sounds like Thin Lizzy.
Thin Lizzy were more than adequate headbangers when they decided to go that way. The highlight of the album, Cold Sweat, is ample proof of that; It’s nothing short of a classic Thin Lizzy tune with a memorable riff and a catchy though simplistic chorus, and a great vocal performance by Lynott. On the whole, though, this isn’t Thin Lizzy at their absolute best, partly because it doesn’t have those bluesy jammin’ tracks which allow the two guitarists (Scott Gorham and John Sykes on this album) to trade licks.
Still, in the end, if Lizzy realized their creative star was on the wane and decided to go out with one more album, Thunder And Lightning is a fine epitaph to one of the best hard rock bands ever. It’s not their best album, but it is a good album with some real highlights that closes their illustrious but also troubled career in good form.
Sadly, a mere three years later, leader Phil Lynott would be dead.