"Unleashed Dragon"

(Self-Released 2003)Thulium - Unleashed Dragon

French DIY band Thulium sure have a knack for writing hooks. The melodies that make up a majority of "Unleashed Dragon" are just pop enough to not be pop and just heavy enough to be considered metal.

Slow, cautious melodies are the driving force on "Unleashed Dragon." Quick guitars and rhythms ("Schizomnia (My Own Worst Enemy)") inevitably slow for verses while the ballad "MP3" pulls you in with the chorus. Thulium alternates between gentle toned vocals and a gruff voice that is unnecessary such as on "Checkmate." Taking a different route, buzzing guitar riffs and drums kick in for "Live Anthem" as "Pandora's Box" adds rhythm and turns up tempo despite limited power. Piano and guitar take the lead on "My Confession" for a power ballad before the fuller, driving instrumentation and too serious aside whispers of "Scarlet."

No one ever said DIY was easy and it is clear that Thulium is doing the best with what they have. So while the production could use some improvement, the focus might better be put on Boubou's vocals that could use to be more commanding and in control. The strength of "Unleashed Dragon" lies in its choruses which are more than simply melodic.