Royal Thunder

Crooked Doors (Relapse)

SXSW 2015 Records

Royal Thunder

Crooked Doors (Relapse)

Royal Thunder commands a study in contrasts. On Crooked Doors, the Atlanta quartet's second LP, rumbling doom stomps gracefully as drummer Evan Diprima pounds and bassist Mlny Parsonz weaves. Guitarists Josh Weaver and Will Fiore lay down a blanket of riffs that cut cleanly, rather than fight dirty, for a psychedelic atmosphere that's more feel than form. "Ear on the Fool" and "Forgive Me, Karma" let in a lightness not usually associated with hard rock, while "Time Machine" and "The Line" keep both the heavy and the melodies churning. "Forget You" and slide guitar-iced "Glow" might find favor on classic rock radio were it ever to play new music. As deftly as the tracks dance, the focal point remains Parsonz, whose cutting howl balances brashness and vulnerability, especially on the piano/strings closer "The Bear II." Immediate viscerality that rewards close attention. (12mid, Dirty Dog Bar)

****

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Royal Thunder, SXSW Music 2015

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