Royal Thunder – Rebuilding the Mountain (Spinefarm)Friday, 9th June 2023
After the strong effort that was 2017’s Wick, southern rockers Royal Thunder ended up dissolving after drummer Evan Diprima parted ways in 2018 and it wasn’t until 2021 that the trio mended things and got the band back together, so to speak. With six years now between releases, Royal Thunder come back with something to prove with Rebuilding the Mountain, their second release for Spinefarm Records. It seems the band’s somewhat bluesy and rock-oriented grooves carry just as much melody and emotion, and serve as an excellent welcome back.
The rawness and straight-forward approach is the most telling part of this new batch of songs from Royal Thunder. Mlny Parsonz’s incredible vocal performance still sits as a highlight, but the accompanying instrumentation (to which Parsonz also contributes on bass) feels more approachable than ever before. A number of the tracks, such as the darkly melodic rocker “The Knife” and slow burn “Pull” don’t go too far over the 3-minute mark. They say their piece (and state it quite well) and leave it up to the next track to keep the album running. Only two songs go above the 5-minute mark, so you get an album that tends to deliver very emotionally and it just keeps hitting you. Parsonz vocals are intimate and very honest on cuts like “Fade” and “Live to Live,” giving the album some incredible poignancy, especially in the latter track as the classic rock inspired soundtrack hits just the right amount of blues to further push the listener into emotional territory. That said, some honest rock and roll energy can be found with other songs like “My Ten” and “Now Here-No Where,” which offer some excellent hooks and grooves to get you moving in addition to the potent lyrical content and vocals.
Full of urgency and raw emotion, Royal Thunder return victoriously with Rebuilding the Mountain. Between bluesy swings, rock grooves, and Parsonz’s stunning vocal performance, the band showcases some of its best material to date. If you are in the mood for some honest rock and roll vibes and ear-catching hooks, this is the album for you.