Album Reviews : Royal Thunder – Wick
It’s essentially impossible to make the perfect album; especially in this day and age when the rock/metal scene spans across a multitude of genres. In saying that, Atlanta’s own Royal Thunder has made their perfect album. Theirs is a sound that soars above and beyond one simple genre, and captivates you for any amount of time that you’ll enable it to.
The idea of being one simple genre of music has such a heightened focus these days, allowing certain people to shun bands completely before even listening to a single song. When it comes to Royal Thunder, how about we just stick with ‘rock band’, and let you put all the finer pieces together when you take the somewhat magical journey that is Wick.
Wick is Royal Thunder’s third full-length record and seems to continue on from where they left off with Crooked Doors in 2015. The tracks on this record each tell their own minor story in what is one giant tale, pieced together to create something truly magnificent.
Although this record seems quite driven by the vocal work of Mlny “Mel” Parsonz, there is such genius within the intricacies of each song that illustrates the talent within each and every band member. Drummer Evan Diprima has earlier stated that he uses his drums to compliment the music – rather than overtake it – and it can be sensed throughout. The addition of Will Fiore as rhythm guitarist also works wonders for Royal Thunder. The added guitar just heightens the riffs on this album whilst adding an extra element of beauty.
It’s so hard to distinguish the highlights of this record as it tends to just meld into one long journey. The song writing is faultless and Mlny continues her way toward being one of the greatest female vocalists of all time. Many parts of each song intertwine with one another, which stems from the incredible lyricism and ends with the overall atmosphere this record creates.
As previously mentioned, Royal Thunder don’t like to stick to one genre, and as a perfectionist, main song writer Josh Weaver has been known for sitting around for hours working on one small segment of a song. It can be seen here as the songs skip from genre to genre, yet it doesn’t change the overall sound: it just fits.
Many themes can be sensed throughout Wick. A lot of the lyrics can come off as love/relationship-esque, but Mlny Parsonz has a knack for adding various meanings to her lyrics. This can be seen in songs “The Well” and “We Never Fell Asleep”, which also seem to be linked with the music video for the single “April Showers”.
Each song has its own unique sense of brilliance, but the ninth track “Push” needs to be mentioned as it seems to showcase this entire album in four minutes. This track jumps from a soft melancholic intro into a dark verse then melds with a fast uplifting bridge and a ‘bouncy’ chorus that falls back into a soft piano driven outro. In twelve tracks, Royal Thunder is able to take you on a series of psychedelic journeys and express a range of different feelings.
Part of the charm with this record stems from Mlny’s constant shift in vocals. Her soft, yet somewhat deeper vocals provide a beautiful calmness to any madness in the instrumentals – then mixed with her intensified, grungy growl that still makes me shiver on the tenth listen.
Royal Thunder was able to evoke so many emotions with this record, and at times the emotional response can change multiple times within the one track. A lot of the lyrics come off as quite dark, depressing and solemn; but there is a sense of grace amongst it. As the album progresses, there is a sense of a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’; and whatever pain or pleasure the song wants you to feel, believe me when I say, you’ll feel it. The irony to this comes in the last line of the title track as Mlny belts out the line: “…and I don’t feel anything at all.”
Wick is set for release on the 7th of April, and is definitely an album worth checking out. Royal Thunder has continued to grow as song writers, and at the same time has broadened their horizon of genres: crushing every single one of them. This record isn’t just a bunch of songs thrown together: each song has been strategically placed and perfectly balanced to create one 54 minute journey. This isn’t just music, this is art.
Pre-order your copy of Wick now! Wick is out April 7 via Spinefarm Records.