Atlanta’s Royal Thunder have developed into quite the rock outfit. I enjoyed their last album Crooked Doors that came out back in 2015. WICK has quite a different vibe from previous efforts, and this is shown right away with the opening track, “Burning Tree.” Opening up with some trancy, psychedelic-type guitar chord progressions, Mlny Parsonz vocal harmonies are on point and are incredibly soulful and melodic. This opener has excellent build and is quite beautiful. While Crooked Doors may have been a little bit more guitar driven, WICK demonstrates Royal Thunder’s maturity as a band and their broadening of their sound and songwriting.
“April Showers” glistens, chimes, and slowly fades in with Parsonz Janis Joplin/Grace Slick-esque warmth building into a bluesy, Southern rock feel and is one of the strongest tracks on WICK. “The Sinking Chair” is one of the more upbeat tunes and is also one of the more guitar driven tracks. “Plans” opens up with some grungier style clean tone riffing with Parsonz voice resonating with powerful, howling reverb that adds a bit of a different feel versus the majority of the rest of the album. This woman truly is a force of nature and this track shows it. Josh Weaver’s riff compositions blends perfectly with Parsonz voice.
“WICK” the title track of the album opens with some clean guitar and delay. Parsonz voice is quite haunting and dreamlike with some fade in and out effects that give this song a unique dynamic. The guitar harmonies of Weaver and Fiore are bright and almost alien. The contrast between clean guitar lines and the distorted ringing power chords gives this song a feeling of floating. “Push” opens up with a gorgeous piano and strings accompaniment that transition into Led Zeppelin-esque riffing. Parsonz vocal vibrato is especially on point on this track.
“Turnaround” opens with some arpeggiated chords that build as Parsonz voice begins. This tune has one of the strongest choruses on the album. WICK finishes up with “We Never Fell Asleep” which opens up with thunderous, tribal-styled percussion by Evan Diprima that morphs into a driving rock and back again, only to end with something akin to a spiritual. Royal Thunder hold their own in the world of modern day hard rock. Every song on WICK is built so meticulously well around Mlny Parsonz voice. This band continue to build a strong reputation for making memorable music without being overly technical. The simplicity of their approach to songwriting and production makes Wick one of the best rock albums so far in 2017. Fans of Baroness and Mastodon would be wise to check out this group.[Visit the band's website]