Review by Adam M on May 8, 2015.
I must admit that this was my first exposure to Royal Thunder. Having heard similar bands like The Devil’s Blood, Graveyard, Witch Mountain and Dwellers, I have been exposed to this style, however. There are shades of doom, stoner and ethereal post-music to be found in this band’s sound as well.
A female vocalist occupies this rock-influenced style of a band again and in this case steals the show on Crooked Doors. Mlny Parsons is equal measures powerful, evocative and dynamic. This style of the band is complemented wonderfully by this lady’s vocal performance. Otherwise, the music crafted by Royal Thunder is exciting, catchy and well-written. Royal Thunder shows a penchant for emotion and attention to subtlety in their music. Sometimes one does wish that the band would reach a little bit further into more unknown musical elements as the album does come off slightly standard sounding. Despite the restrictive feeling of the album, there is an overabundance of emotional moments that completely compensate for this. This all emanates from the very beginning with the track Time Machine that is absolutely one of the most emphatic and enjoyable songs you’ll hear all year. While not quite up to that quality, many of the other tracks on this album excite and entice as well.
The passionate energy created by this band is what makes Crooked Doors such an eminently enjoyable release. Of course, every exciting riff is enhanced by the dynamic range of the vocals. Thus, despite not being the most original album you’ll hear this year, it is one of the more fun listens. It brings a similar level of quality as Graveyard’s Hisingen Blues album that was a high point for this sort of style in recent years. All heavy metal fans looking for an album that’s highly influenced by the seventies era of rock would be well served looking in Crooked Doors.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10