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Friday, 14 April 2017

Reviews: Royal Thunder, Brothers Of Metal, The Wild!, Baleful Creed

Royal Thunder: WICK (Spinefarm Records)

I've been following the evolution of Atlanta band and what an evolution it is, starting out with a attitude problem that had them playing doomy stoner punk on their debut, before widening their sound on their second album, WICK is their third full length album at it adds more texture than ever before, many of the songs on this record have the occult psychedelic flavours of Swedish acts like Witchcraft, you can hear this on Push and The Well both of which simmer with Josh Weaver's louche guitar playing, the band have always expertly blended classic rock with 90's grunge and wrapped it all up in a progressive rock blanket to let it grow organically.

WICK
is probably the least heavy of their three albums...hey...come back that's a good thing honestly what they lack in distortion they make up for in throbbing bass from Mlny Parsons who drives opener Burning Tree with a low resonance that Weaver and second guitarist Will Fiore add to with big open chords. Drummer Diprima is the key to the percussive, hazy April Showers which builds into a solo dirven finale and leads into the emotive Tied which is perfect song to display the intense vocal prowess, it's a dark tale of lust gone wrong that turns from a Stevie Nicks solo outing to heavier final part rocker.

As I've said the band have an eclectic soundscape pop slips in on We Slipped. I can't say enough about Mlny's voice, she really is a true star, it's got grit, power and a resonance all of which is done with gusto on The Sinking Chair. WICK is fantastic, after the first listen I wanted to hear it again and then again, it's now be resident on my stereo for about a week, intoxicating, intelligent and at times just raw Royal Thunder have consolidated their position as one of the freshest bands in rock and metal music. 9/10

Brothers Of Metal: Prophecy Of Ragnarök (Self Released)

Well this is all a bit mad, I'll admit i was sceptical when I saw this band features 3 vocalists and 3 lute players, yes folks the Lute staple of folk metal bands however as The Death Of The God Of Light opens this record it's straight down the line True power metal favoured by DiMaio and co. Fast and frantic delivered by three excellent​ vocalists the folky female vocals coming from Ylva Eriksson and the gruffer male vocals from from Joakim Lindbäck Eriksson and Mats Nilsson sounding like Sabaton's Joacim mixed with Mr Lordi. Gods Of War could be the best Sabaton song since Swedish Pagans and We Believe In Metal is a warning to wimps and posers to leave the hall. (well that's what happens when you name your band after a song from Louder Than Hell

Lutes add the folk touches of Falconer or Skyclad to Defenders Of Valhalla for most of the album they augment the guitars (I even suspect the lutes are changed for guitars for the rest of the album) for the galloping riffage most of these songs are built on. Lyrically it's familiar ground metal, brotherhood and Norse Mythology are the main themes on what i believe is a bit of a concept album, although on the guitar heavy TYR (which features a bass solo despite not having a bassist) I swear they are singing about Doomsday being Tuesday. At 14 songs long the album could be a bit of a slog for non power metal fans and it does make you wonder how many songs about metal and Odin you can write but Brothers Of Metal manage it, it's silly but my is it good fun. Join this brotherhood if you like your power metal that celebrates the glory of metal and worships Odin, on this evidence it seems to be a hell of a good time. 8/10

The Wild!: Wild At Heart (SPV) [Review By Paul]

All out blues drenched rock n' roll with a punk rock edge is how I'd describe The Wild, a four piece out of Kelowna, British Columbia. The band comprise the ludicrously named Dylan Villan on lead guitar and vocals, The Kid on rhythm guitar, Boozus on bass and vocals and drummer Reese Lightning. Wild At Heart is their second album and it's a goodie. Similarities to guitar driven rockers such as The Black Spiders and Fellow countrymen Monster Truck are inevitable but hey, good rock n' roll is good rock n' roll. Tracks such as Best In The West, opener Ready To Roll and the AC/DC riff in Rattlesnake Shake all scream good time, the kind of tunes that make you put your foot down when behind the wheel. A very solid sophomore release. 8/10

Baleful Creed: Seismic Shifter (Self Released)

Norn Iron rockers Baleful Creed return with yet another record full of fuzz drenched stoner metal anthems built on whiskey soaked vocals, swaggering riffs that are low and slow on Memento Mori but have a Motorhead bite on Lose Religion. This is their second album and it slots in to their discography perfectly as the follow up to their debut while adding some extra touches such as the bubbling organs and lazy blues of The Wolf which fleshes out the bands American stoner sound.

Faux Celebrity is aimed at "celeb" culture and is driven by a Sabbath goes Southern style riff however it's the stoner metal of Orange Goblin or COC that is still their go to way of noise making on Devil's Side while Forgiven is a bass driven psychedelic piece with swirling guitars. Baleful Creed again prove themselves as more than capable​ of competing with the US heavyweights. 8/10

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