If you spent your teen years devouring Conan the Barbarian pulp novels like I did (until I got a girlfriend and got out of my bedroom), and more importantly, if you did so while cranking out some heavy metal, then you fully "get" what Canadian powerhouse Jon Mikl Thor was setting out to accomplish in his music and in particular the cover art for his Triumphant album from 2002.
This album cover is straight out of the L. Sprague de Camp years of chronicling Conan's hack 'em 'n stack 'em lore. Jon Mikl Thor's physical prowess and feats of strength has always been a part of his shtick, along with his clunky, powermad style of gladiator metal. Thor can pop your head like a grape, as would be indicated by the cleaving mayhem on Triumphant's fantasmagorical artwork. Yet he is one of the genuinely nicest guys in the business. I had a terrific hour-plus with the man back in 2004 that later culminated in one of the sweetest package deals I've ever obtained.
On this album, Thor belts out some of his best material such as "Viking's Funeral," "Everybody Needs a Hero" and "Call of the Triumphant." It also features the strangely funky "Hail Steve Reeves," an ode to the herculean Superman of yesteryear.
Strange how the times have passed; we now have a big screen version of Thor in theaters that could've gone to Jon Mikl Thor by birthright had the same technology been available to match the strapping physique of this world bodybuilding champion in his youth. Hell, when the dreadful Hulk meets Thor t.v. film from the eighties came out, someone shanked in the casting department by overlooking this very worthy Thor. No insult intended whatsoever to the equally masculine Chris Hemsworth, but it seems a bit unfair Jon Mikl Thor has remained a cult figure whose film credits mainly include Rock 'n Roll Nightmare. That's Hollywood for you.