By Spencer Brown
Royal Thunder avoid the dreaded “sophomore slump” with Crooked Doors, a potent combination of the ‘70s, ‘90s, and today. Lead singer Mlny Parsonz has a range that can go from Zeppelin to Sabbath to Sleater-Kinney-esque vibrato. The guitars of both Josh Weaver and Will Fiore complement each other dynamically. The songs of Crooked Doors could easily fit on a Mastodon, Kylesa, Baroness, Torche and ilk mix tape, particularly the latter era of each band where they shed the ferocity in favour of the serpentine progressive approach.
If there’s one loose nut on Crooked Doors it’s that some songs can sound dated. Whether that’s undesirable or not depends on the listener’s view of Led Zeppelin. As on the six minute plus tracks like “Ear on the Fool” and “One Day,” the Zep is in full effect. That said, regardless of your feelings on Robert Plant’s hair and endless supply of his own band’s T-shirts or Bonham as a drummer, Royal Thunder has succeeded in forging an epic rock and roll album with Crooked Doors. Not to mention, they’ve made an album with a seemingly unlikely but surprisingly successful mix of influences.Crooked Doors, Royal Thunder