Tuesday 21 April 2015

Royal Thunder - 'Crooked Doors' (Album Review)

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 06/04/2015
Label: Relapse Records

‘Crooked Doors’ CD//LP//DD track listing:

1). Time Machine
2). Forgot You
3). Wake Up
4). Floor
5). The Line
6). Forgive Me Karma
7). Glow
8). Ear on the Fool
9). One Day
10). The Bear 1
11). The Bear 2

Royal Thunder is:

MIny Parsonz | Bass & Vocals
Josh Weaver | Guitar
Evan Diprima | Drums
Will Fiore | Guitar


Atlanta’s Royal Thunder return with an album of emotion, power, deep rhythms and much, much more!

Formed in 2004, these guys finally released their first music on an EP in 2009 followed in 2012 by the mighty ‘CVI’ album which was a masterful mix of seventies rock, Mastodon riffs and stoner vibes. That certainly brought them to the fore in the rock scene around the world. They cut their mustard on stage supporting some awesome bands, Baroness, Pallbearer and many more over the past few years. That touring has honed their musical landscapes to such a level of excellence; they have gone on to produce this varied masterpiece.

Crooked Doors kicks off with ‘Time Machine’ which has excellent atmospheric vocals and guitar which in turn is driven by a catchy rhythm. This nicely leads you into this album of beauty. Next up is ‘Forgot You’ which kicks you in the bollocks with some awesome driving sludgy riffs, MIny’s aggressive vocals pound your ears, all achieved with melodic undertones. Wow! ‘Wake Up’ follows with a slow melodic spaced out tone to start which leads the track to its end in the Royal Thunder’s trademark style, increasing vocal power, volume and the band taking off to the moon. The next two tracks ‘Floor’ and ‘The Line’ are in a similar vain.

The following two tracks are my album favourites. ‘Forgive the Karma’ is so expertly written and composed it gives you the feeling Karma can be true.  MIny’s vocals have so much emotion it sends you to another dimension of feeling, well being or sadness. A single release? Following up this awesomeness is ‘Glow’ a track which takes you on a steady musical progression. This progression flows through the track like a river winding its way to form a romantic partnership with the sea. Fresh and Salty! Her vocals here go up a notch, how I don’t know. Such an underrated singer! This left me spellbound.

‘Ear on the Fool’ and ‘One Day’ follow with ‘One Day’ being a full throttle Led Zep style rock anthem. Powerful moving vocals and the band rocking their arses off, resulting in a track brimming with masterful vocals and musicial excellence. Now its onto the surprise, the last two tracks ‘The Bear 1&2 ‘, which are a chilled Sunday morning listen. Haunting vocals, piano and strings make a soothing end to the album. Sang with so much feeling these two tracks are enveloping and overwhelming.

What have they done here? Well they have blended various styles and era’s of rock with clever song structures and musical passages, but this time with emotion as well as power. It feels that all the emotion caused by a reported relationship issue within the band has driven them to produce music of the highest calibre, akin to ‘Rumours’. MIny’s vocals exhibit emotion in her voice from the very depths of her soul and the rest of the musicians have also dug deep to grind out this emotion in every note they play. Total respect required! Yes this album is not as heavy as ‘CVI’ but heavy is not everything? Yes you could say some of the tracks are of a similar style but for me each song tells a different story which only makes you want to listen to it again and again. Each listen gives you something else to think about, feel and remember. It’s up to you. These guys stand out in the rock scene and it will be criminal if they don’t become huge. If you like retro, blues rock, prog, grunge, metal, stoner, etc. etc, this is for you. I couldn’t advise you enough to purchase this release.

Words by: Brian Mclean

‘Crooked Doors’ is available everywhere now

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