Sunday, April 12, 2015

Royal Thunder 'Crooked Doors',

I've been getting into a lot of female-fronted doom lately. There's something about the female voice that fits in so well with the doom/occult rock sound. I've been listening to The Devil's Blood for a little while now. I was bummed to hear about them calling it quits, and later  band founder Selim Lemouchi's death. Selim was the brains behind the band, with his sister Farida on vocals. Very psychedelic, meodic and satanic, The Devil's Blood were a very well crafted ritual. Farida's vocals and the feel of the music made them sound like an evil, heavy Jefferson Airplane. I know the music is not similar, but that's where her voice takes my mind. This is the album 'The Time of No Time Evermore', my favorite album of theirs. Worth a beginning to end listen. Choice tracks 'Christ or Cocaine' and 'The Anti-Kosmik Magick"

 The Oath are another lady-centric group worth getting into. The vocalist is a woman and the sole guitar player is a woman. Rock in general is such a dude fest that having the creative force behind a good band is an impressive feat, shame. I am sad to say that this group has also disbanded. The guitar sound is nastier than The Devil's Blood. A bit fuzzier with a taste of Motorhead and Mercyful Fate riff inspiration. The vocals are drony, but still melodic. Unfortunately The Oath only released one album, but a great album. Choice cut 'Black Rainbow'

Finally, the reason for this post, Royal Thunder's 'Crooked Doors' album. I've been aware of this band and picked up the album after seeing it's praise pretty much everywhere I looked. Holy Shit the vocals. Mlny Parsonz's pipes possess so much power. You can hear the soul in her voice, the pain, the conviction. It is perfectly at home weaving through the peaks and valleys of wall of doom she sings over. I would be amiss to leave out the genius of guitarist Josh Weaver and drummer Evan Dirprima. Both creating the perfect canvas for Parsonz. The range of her raspy voice make her sound like a heavy metal Stevie Nicks. The flourishes and melodies from Parsonz's voice makes you believe that the music means something. Her voice is equal parts agony and beauty. By listening alone, I knew I was in love with this woman, with this voice. The music takes you through the history of all proto-heavy metal. You hear classic rock, heavy metal, prehaps a touch of grunge all woven into a pregressive groove. The mellow, the heavy and the guitar solos. Everything is where it needs to be. 'Crooked Doors' makes me want to be a better musician, a better person even. I've never been much for paying attention to the lyrics to anything I listen to. I more appreciate how the vocals fit into the atmosphere that the music creates. Parsonz's voice makes me pay attention. I want to know what's she's belting her lungs out about. Needless to say, I'm blown away by this album. The surprising thing about it to me, is that the music seems accessible. I could see any casual rock fan getting into Royal Thunder. I could see them tour with The Foo Fighters as easy as them touring with Mastodon. Atlanta certainly seems to be the go to birthplace for all modern sludge. Royal Thunder will, hopefully be the stuff of legend.

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