Female fronted hard rock band ROYAL THUNDER break out of the Atlanta metal scene with their full length album debut CVI (Roman numeral 106). They formed in 2007 and released a seven song EP in late 2009. The four piece group has a bluesy, psychedelic feel to them that garner them comparisons to LED ZEPPELIN and BLACK SABBATH. Many of CVI’s tracks are haunting and possess the doom that both of those legendary bands had earlier in their careers. This correlation suggests that ROYAL THUNDER have a long career ahead of them.
I was instantly drawn in by the opening track “Parsonz Curse”. The title is clever and humorous because the singer/bassist’s name is Mlny Parsonz. In a sense, Parsonz places a curse on the listener of not being able to resist falling in love with her voice. This is the song that reminded me the most of early SABBATH’s sound of doom and ended being my favorite of the album. Some other tracks that stuck out to me are “Blue”, “Sleeping Witch”, and “South of Somewhere”. The two things I loved about “Blue” were the background vocals and the jam-like feeling to it. It reminded me of some Zeppelin tunes because of the way Parsonz sings throughout the track and the way she phrases her words. “Sleeping Witch” is the only song on the album that also appeared on the 2009 EP. The song sounds similar to THE MOODY BLUES’ “Nights in White Satin” and has that slightly eerie feel to it. At around the 1:50 mark though, it crashes into becoming a heavier tune. Finally, “South of Somewhere” captured my attention because it started with the sound of wind chimes; an interesting way for a hard rock band to begin a song. The guitars in the sound are similar to the ones heard on the last MASTODON album The Hunter. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that both bands come from the same area/scene.
Overall, I really enjoyed the album. The songs are of various lengths and although many exceed the five minute mark, none feel too long. No two songs are the same but that doesn’t mean they don’t all belong on the album. They flow together quite nicely and the listener never feels bored. I believe we can expect great things from ROYAL THUNDER in the future.
by Melissa Campbell