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Royal Thunder - Crooked Doors review




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Reviewer:
9.0

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7.96
Band: Royal Thunder
Album: Crooked Doors
Release date: April 2015


01. Time Machine
02. Forget You
03. Wake Up
04. Floor
05. The Line
06. Forgive Me, Karma
07. Glow
08. Ear On The Fool
09. One Day
10. The Bear I
11. The Bear II
12. Ear On The Fool [demo] [Deluxe bonus]
13. Forget You [demo] [Deluxe bonus]
14. Forgive Me, Karma [demo][Deluxe bonus]
15. Glow [demo] [Deluxe bonus]
16. Time Machine [demo] [Deluxe bonus]


One of the most truly captivating albums I've heard in a long time, Royal Thunder unleashes a stunning and very personal sophomore record. Sharp in both its simplicity and range, this amazing blues/rock/groove concoction is summed up in one word: intimate. Even on the first listen, before all lyrics are absorbed, vocalist Mlny Parsonz's stories of loss invoke specific experiences, memories, and emotions. She absolutely plumbs the depths of the human experience with her wailing voice.

It actually feels like they're all baring their souls to me, personally. The storytelling in the lyrics and vocals is so intimate, and the instruments very much support that aspect. The drums and eerie, bluesy guitar musically assist the delivery of true, experienced emotion, showing both tender playing at times and harsh, honest delivery at others.

The strongest feelings at present are sorrow and regret, with an underlying freedom in the music and harmonies. Mlny Parsonz and Josh Weaver are no longer married but still writing and playing music together. They have not had easy lives thus far, though these last few years sound like they were exceptionally painful. Many of these songs seem directly or indirectly related to loss, and some to the new life that begins after a loss. It may not be free of sorrow, but it's free. The struggle and darkness is very real in the music this time around.

Many of us fell in love with Royal Thunder for their bluesy blend of styles plus the unique and unreal voice of Mlny Parsonz. But through all those great vocals, never forget that Mlny is an absolutely fantastic bass player. Don't let that captivating voice fool you into thinking she just plucks a few strings every now and then. No, she absolutely lays waste to her stringed instrument. Seeing the band live is a life-changing experience, watching her manipulate her fingers to continuously play complex chords, deepening the musical texture, while wailing out those lyrics.

Crooked Doors is a completely different experience than debut CVI, and while I loved that album greatly, I can easily say this is a cohesive step forward for the talented band. The debut was a collection of awesome songs that could start to feel a little long when taken as one listen. This new record holds me until the last note and often requires a second complete spin. It's very streamlined, yet still offers new variety not previously heard. Just to name a few, excellent track "Floor" closes with a surprise southern hymn-inspired siren song; "Forgive Me, Karma" has a spooky and mysterious vibe with an eastern guitar melody; "One Day" is an unexpectedly classic-style anthem; and closing "The Bear" tracks are piano-driven blues ballads that show the band far beyond their gritty rock we've come to love. There are few upbeat "you're no, no good!" type sing-a-long opportunities with Crooked Doors; this record is more introspective than outwardly anything.

Through it all, I'm especially impressed by how the interesting and well-played drums and percussion so appropriately back up each story. They're prominent in the mix, which is great for the aural textures, but never overtake the sound; actually the opposite: each drum hit or percussive tap astutely highlights each lyric, each emotion. Despite these great performances and captivating songwriting, the star of the show here really is that emotion.

At the end of each listen I feel like I just watched some beautiful and inspired film with a sad ending, a sad ending I new was coming the entire time yet very much relished.

"I'm looking for a time machine." So am I, Mlny, so am I.





Written on 11.04.2015 by Susan appreciates quality metal regardless of sub-genre. Metal Storm Staff since 2006.

Twitter: @HeavyMetalSusan


Comments

Comments: 15   Visited by: 272 users
11.04.2015 - 20:26
Rating: 8
Draugen

Good review! Sounds really promising. Gonna give this one a spin later today and I doubt that it will disappoint.
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11.04.2015 - 21:03
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Written by Draugen on 11.04.2015 at 20:26

Good review! Sounds really promising. Gonna give this one a spin later today and I doubt that it will disappoint.


she always writes good
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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11.04.2015 - 22:20
Rating: 7
BitterCOld
The Ancient One
She always writes well...

and I am defo interested in checking this out.
----
get the fuck off my lawn.

Beer Bug Virus Spotify Playlist crafted by Nikarg and I. Feel free to tune in and add some pertinent metal tunes!
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12.04.2015 - 00:47
strade

Loved their debut so much. If this is as good, they'll definitely be making their way up my 'favorite bands' list in a hurry.
----
My lo-fi synth project: http://luciddreamer.bandcamp.com
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12.04.2015 - 05:14
GT
Coffee!!
I must check this out
----


Dreams are made so we don't get bored when we sleep
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12.04.2015 - 05:37
bleak
Account deleted
Nice Review. It's almost impossible not to chech this one out.

And after one spin, i must say is looking good!
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12.04.2015 - 06:36
Susan
Smeghead
Written by BitterCOld on 11.04.2015 at 22:20

She always writes well...



Aww you defended my grammatical honor
----
"A life all mine
Is what I choose
At the end of my days"
--The Gathering "A Life All Mine" from Souvenirs
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12.04.2015 - 06:41
Susan
Smeghead
Written by Guest on 12.04.2015 at 05:37

Nice Review. It's almost impossible not to chech this one out.

And after one spin, i must say is looking good!


So happy to hear that you're enjoying it. I wasn't sure if this one was going to be more of a grower than I realized. After hearing the initial single released early on I was lukewarm, yet I was hooked and in love upon the first full spin. I've listened to little else since - in fact it's on right now
----
"A life all mine
Is what I choose
At the end of my days"
--The Gathering "A Life All Mine" from Souvenirs
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13.04.2015 - 21:33
Ivor
Staff
Previous album never sat right with me. I thoroughly enjoyed the first spin of this one, though. Seems like I'm going to like it.

I.
----
No friends for playing games
No foes who scorn my name
Computerized machines of steel and rust
/---/
No friends in my house on Mars
No foes in my house on Mars
I was born in my house on Mars
I will die in my house on Mars
-- Ayreon - My House on Mars
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13.04.2015 - 22:00
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by Ivor on 13.04.2015 at 21:33

Previous album never sat right with me. I thoroughly enjoyed the first spin of this one, though. Seems like I'm going to like it.

I.



Same for me, although this one isn't that different compared to the first one, albeit this one is poppier.
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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13.04.2015 - 22:10
Ivor
Staff
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 13.04.2015 at 22:00

Same for me, although this one isn't that different compared to the first one, albeit this one is poppier.

Heh, I thought I was the only one not getting the hype around that album.

I.
----
No friends for playing games
No foes who scorn my name
Computerized machines of steel and rust
/---/
No friends in my house on Mars
No foes in my house on Mars
I was born in my house on Mars
I will die in my house on Mars
-- Ayreon - My House on Mars
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13.04.2015 - 22:12
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by Ivor on 13.04.2015 at 22:10

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 13.04.2015 at 22:00

Same for me, although this one isn't that different compared to the first one, albeit this one is poppier.

Heh, I thought I was the only one not getting the hype around that album.

I.



Nope, neither did I. And I remember you being surprised at the time that we agreed on that
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

Loading...
13.04.2015 - 22:16
Ivor
Staff
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 13.04.2015 at 22:12

Nope, neither did I. And I remember you being surprised at the time that we agreed on that

I might have, yes. God forbid if I'm slowly turning into you opinion-wise. Anyway, let's see how this one holds up over time.

I.
----
No friends for playing games
No foes who scorn my name
Computerized machines of steel and rust
/---/
No friends in my house on Mars
No foes in my house on Mars
I was born in my house on Mars
I will die in my house on Mars
-- Ayreon - My House on Mars
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15.04.2015 - 16:43
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
It finally hit me Mlny Parsonz sounds a lot like Gwen Stefani.
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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08.05.2015 - 18:45
Rating: 10
Death To Posers
Hate Thy King
Agree 100%. This is my favorite album of the year so far.
----
The word gen means "illusion" or "apparition." In India, a man who uses conjury is called a genjutsushi ["a master of illusion technique"]. Everything in this world is but a marionette show. Thus we use the word gen.
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