Monday, January 24, 2011

Royal Thunder Self-titled EP

Posted By on Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 8:27 AM

At first glance, it’s easy to peg Royal Thunder as just another member of Atlanta’s metal circuit. But after a few spins of their debut EP, reissued by Relapse Records in December, the group's heavier stands out remains a more accessible brand of hard rock, one that mirrors Vancouver prog-rockers Black Mountain’s brooding allure.

But where Black Mountain drifts into the realms of atmospheric rock, Royal Thunder separate themselves with an authoritative presence—one that is immediately recognizable as they break out of their shell two minutes into “Sleeping Witch.” Mlny Parsonz’s soulful wail remains powerfully backed by the lurking roar of Jesse Stuber’s dynamic drums. “Mouth Of Fire” follows with even more force, feeding off the slow build-up of the preceding track as a darker heavier cousin to both Wolfmother’s “Woman” and Black Mountain’s “Stormy High.” While Parsons and Stuber are the first parts noticed throughout the EP, guitarist Josh Weaver ties it all together, setting the context for these songs with his gritty, blues-laced riffs. More importantly, Weaver provides the foundation from which Parsonz and Stuber become so powerful.

“Deacon” brings the EP home on its seven-minute journey that not only ends their debut with a ferocious bang, but leaves listeners anxious for a full-length that can’t drop soon enough. The group strikes a perfect middle ground on this eponymous release, dark enough for metal fans to relate to, but accessible enough for a wider audience.
4 out of 5 stars.

"Mouth of Fire"

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