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Royal Thunder – Crooked Doors

Royal Thunder
Crooked Doors
by Matt Willis at 27 May 2015, 5:27 AM

ROYAL THUNDER are a Hard Rock/Grunge band hailing from Savannah, Atlanta, Georgia in the United States. This is their sophomore release, and one a lot of people have been waiting for.

The opening track for this album is “Time Machine”. Opening with a great arpeggiated guitar intro and a gentle percussion rhythm, it then launches into the first verse, with a very powerful dynamic, and singer MIny Parsonz has a great voice, and really can reach the high notes. The chorus has a very dark sound to it, with a very classic twist.

The rhythm of the guitars is strong and hard, whilst the bass isn’t very high in the mix which is a bit of a shame as you can hardly hear it. The song is very well written and performed flawlessly. It reminds the listener of early PEARL JAM. Not a bad start. “Forget You” is next to feature, and starts with a feedback guitar loop and bass line, and this time it’s noticeable. The feedback does continue for around 30 seconds which will hurt your ears if you listen to this too loud!

The guitar riff is very quirky, and the sound is very reminiscent of early 90’s NIRVANA. The guitar solo sounds amazing, and the riff and rhythm section balances it out very well. Singer MIny Parsonz voice reminds me a hell of a lot of dearly departed Midnight of CRIMSON GLORY fame. She has that same vocal style and they are so similar it’s scary!

“Wake Up” is the third track, and starts with a drum intro along with a guitar intro and the verse begins immediately. This is a very slow tempo song. Eventually it does pick up when the whole band come in together, and the guitars really do feature heavily in this song, with a very trippy sounding solo in the middle of the instrumental section, and the percussion again is just the tom toms and cymbals, before the guitars come back in at a very fast pace.

“Floor” is a mid-tempo song with a very clean guitar sound throughout. Again the vocals are very strong and harmonised throughout the verse section, which works pretty well. The verses are well thought out, and the chorus is very catchy, and again another instrumental section with a very strong solo.

“The Line” is track 5, and again opens with a feedback guitar loop and groovy bassline. I don’t know why feedback loops have to be so prominent in the mix as it does ruin the intro as otherwise it sounds great. This is a very quick paced number, and after the first verse and chorus slows down to just the drums, bass, guitar notes and the vocals, giving the song again a very trippy sound.

“Forgive Me Karma” opens with a tambourine and an arpeggiated guitar lead line, which is different, before the bass line begins in earnest. Then the drums come in on a 4/8 time signature, which works well along with the guitar lead line, before a second guitar enters the mix playing behind the main lead line. When the vocals come in, it goes from a mix of powerful to very soft, and the whole song slows down as well as the tempo. The vocals are very emotive and dynamic. There is no doubt this gal can sing.

“Glow” is next with a very country feel intro, with a sliding guitar as part of it that is not overdone, and this a very nice funky groove with the rhythm section, whilst the guitar drifts along to the rhythm. The verses are catchy on their own, whilst the chorus is executed brilliantly, with the guitars again featuring along with the groove of the rhythm section. One of the better tracks on the album.

“Ear On The Fool” opens with a snare drum roll that continues for a good minute, along with some background vocal harmonies, before it changes to a very prog type sound, with the time tempo changed to ones that DREAM THEATER use regularly. The drums are again just the tom toms and cymbals during the verses, before the snare is used for the choruses. The song then loses tempo and goes back to a straight forward rhythm as the instrumental section approaches, where again the guitar is used with a sustained note alongside an electronic synth. It does work well. The song then ends and fades out with straight chords.

“One Day” follows, that begins with a bright intro with more arpeggiated guitars and a soft vocal melody, before the track starts with a very soft rhythm, and a very strong vocal presence. This has impressed me more and more during the listening to this promo. The chorus is brilliantly executed, with a very indie sounding guitar sound, that is beautifully harmonised with a delay effect that gives it a huge dreamy sound. This has been one of their strengths throughout. The solo in the instrumental section is played with precision, and the effect used to create the sound is awesome, and really gives this track one hell of an edge! One of the highlights of this album!

“The Bear I” opens with a bass drum and snare slow rhythm, with a very slow vocal line, that gains strength during the 2 and a half minutes of this track. Again there is a very trippy sound to the vocals as the song progresses, before fading out with just the drums and snare again.

“The Bear II” opens with a piano intro, a first for this album! Some lovely played chords leads into a beautiful melody that sounds absolutely lush! Very soft with no need for anything else. Then the vocals come in, very softly and not too high in the mix, so the beauty of the piano can be heard. Again she shows her range, from being very quiet to being very strong with the high notes. There’s even a bit of orchestration added in the way of Cello’s, which I think is a brilliant bit of composition. They give the song a lovely classical style, which is hard to pull off, yet this is managed quite easily. The song fades out with just the piano and the cello melodies, which is absolutely brilliant. Without a doubt the standout track on this release!

Overall, a very strong release and these guys have a lot of potential. Brilliantly written songs alongside well constructed songs, whilst I do think that the feedback loops need to be toned down or dropped from the mix slightly, but as this music needs that kind of effect, its used well where it is. MIny’s voice is superb throughout, and seriously even if you are not a fan of Post-Grunge. Alternative type Rock, you need to check this out. You will see that my comparisons between her and Midnight are right on the money, as its spooky just how much she sounds like him!

A solid release and one that will gain them more fans and delight the ones they have already.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
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
Lineup:
MIny Parsonz – Bass, Vocals
Josh Weaver - Guitar
Evan Diprima - Drums
Will Fiore - Guitar
Record Label: Relapse Records
     


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Edited 17 February 2020
 

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