Review: Royal Thunder’s Second LP ‘Crooked Doors’

royal thunder

Royal Thunder is a sludgy rock/metal group based out of Atlanta and previously featured on our Modern Artists Showcase, Volume 11. Consisting of frontwoman Mlny Parsonz, guitarist Josh Weaver, drummer Evan Diprima, and recent second guitarist Will Fiore, the band released their second LP, Crooked Doors, earlier this month via Relapse Records. You can view Alternative Nation’s review of the album below.

Not many modern musical acts have the guts to open up with a 7-minute piece, but Parsonz’s alluring vocals drag the listener into the psychedelic soundscape that is “Time Machine.” The trip begins to sway to a heavy side for “Forget You” as guitar sirens tease the thudding rhythm section. Sudden tempo shifts within “Wake Up” rejuvenate the energy from the dirge intro all while complimenting the aptness of the track’s title. The upbeat percussion set the mood for the feisty tendencies of “Floor” before an ominous chanting interlude transitioned to the raucous “The Line.”

Easily one of the album’s most definitive moments, “Forgive Me, Karma” summarizes each aspect of this band in less than six minutes with winding guitar parts and a stunning vocal performance. The blues vibes off “Glow” didn’t seem to quite fit amidst the other styles explored, but “Ear on the Fool” brings the eccentric build-ups and pay-offs to the forefront. Every group has their stadium sing-along anthem and “One Day” seems like the high contender so far. As for the two-part mellow piece, “The Bear,” a raw and gentle side is showcased with the likes of upright bass, piano, and strings.

As fair warning, the majority of the compositions presented lack a conventional hook or easily latchable melody, but that pure aspect is the reason that sets Royal Thunder to be unique amongst the rock and metal community. Rather than a focus on the heavy or catchy sides of the spectrum, the quartet decide to skew off the mainstream route and delve into experimental aesthetics by bending the standards of dynamics and transformative walls of sound. Crooked Doors is the epicenter of off-the-wall melodic extremes and excels by weening off lyrical and musical cliches.

Overall score: 8.5 out of 10

royal-thunder-crooked-doors You can preview/purchase Royal Thunder’s ‘Crooked Doors’ on iTunes by clicking here

Bio: Riley began as an avid reader of the site since 2008 and made the switch to a reporter around the time of the name change to AlternativeNation in 2013. He is a fan of the grunge genre and is always exploring the depths of metal, enjoying subgenres such as industrial, progressive, alternative, doom, post, stoner, nu, and avant-garde. Riley has been playing guitar for over 6 years, been in an Alice in Chains cover band, and is currently majoring in Recording Arts/Music Production. He began the site by posting the setlists for the site and transitioned to reporting news, writing reviews, doing interviews, and running both the metal section and Modern Artists Showcase. Riley also spends his time managing local bands: Mothlight, Diamondstein, Soda Pants, and With Age.   Fun Facts: Riley went to the same high school as Eddie Vedder. Riley’s first band was called Melting Pot of Human Emotion, which later changed to Dictator Willie. Riley enjoys puppies, kittens, and listening to angsty music on rainy days.   Reach out to Riley at or