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Album Review

For a while there (well, most of the '90s and part of the 2000s), alternative rock and heavy metal were like oil and water: genres diametrically opposed both musically and philosophically, even though the four major Seattle bands that helped usher in the "modern rock" era to begin with were all somehow indebted to heavy bands in overt (Alice in Chains, Soundgarden) or subliminal fashion (Nirvana, Pearl Jam). Ironic, huh? Thankfully, Atlanta's Royal Thunder represents a new generation of bands — and the fertile Georgia music scene, in particular — capable of looking beyond those prejudices, and finding new ways to mix and match both styles, along with numerous musical antecedents and later developments, into curious new aural shapes. As a result, the quartet's debut full-length, CVI (literally the Roman numerals for 106, which apparently has cryptic importance to the group), frequently sounds like some ungodly jam session between Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Hüsker Dü! Especially when powerful statements such as "Parsonz Curse," "Whispering World," and "Blue" see singer/bassist Mlny Parsonz wailing like an SST-period Chris Cornell, while her complicit bandmates, Josh Weaver (lead guitar), Josh Coleman (rhythm guitar), and Lee Smith (drums) bash away on an endless sequence of hard/soft contrasts. What's more, because the rest of CVI‘s unpredictable track listing never commits to any single aesthetic (with the possible exception of "No Good" — a no-fuss, bluesy hard rocker in the Zeppelin mold), but rather moves from post-rock atmospherics ("Shake and Shift") to occult-laced doom ("Sleeping Witch") to bad-trip psychedelics ("Drown"), Royal Thunder ultimately sound like no one but themselves. Obviously, that's no mean feat nowadays, but apparently that's what can happen when musical foes are forced to reconcile. Who knew?

Customer Reviews

Best of Atlanta!

This band has been working so hard and deserve all the good things coming their way. This album is heavy, pretty, dark, and epic. Good things coming out of Atlanta!

Best Atlanta band in a long time

I remember the first time I saw Royal Thunder play. I could never get enough. This being their second album, will blow your mind and make you second guess how you feel about music. They have worked their a**es off for all the right reasons. If you're looking for anything new to change your perspective, to chill you out at the end of a long day, to get you going BEFORE a long day, this is what you need to hear. Download. Listen. Support music. Royal Thunder is at the top of any list I could make up for the best new thing.

Excellent band

This band is awesome! Loves their EP and made this an automatic get. Vocals are haunting and sultry. Guitars bring a blues-y feel that bring out the vocals. The bass and drums weave from doom to thundering prog. Can't wait to see them in July.


Formed: 2006 in Atlanta, GA

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Rising out of Atlanta, Georgia, Royal Thunder have been conjuring stoner rock grooves out of the Southern heat since they were formed in 2006 by guitarist Josh Weaver. Featuring singer and bassist Mlny Parsonz, drummer Lee Smith, and guitarist Josh Coleman, the band's hazy psychedelic sound evokes the early days of stoner and space rock, with Parsonz's soulful vocals bringing an element of dark drama to the band's swaggering sound. Royal Thunder made their recorded debut in 2009 with a self-titled...
Full Bio
CVI, Royal Thunder
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Customer Ratings