I would like to say how incredible CVI, the debut full-length from Royal Thunder, is but the reality is that the magnificent opus that is “Parsonz Curse” is so damn awesome that I’m finding it hard to delve deeper into the album at times. The good news is, I have since gotten beyond “Parsonz Curse” and can safely say the rest of CVI is just as potent.

If Ann and Nancy Wilson would’ve had their start in the desert and not in Seattle, Heart would’ve sounded like Royal Thunder. They’re a stoner/doom hybrid that’s all lo-fi sludge complemented by the exquisite voice of Miny Parsonz who adds a rich texture to the mix with her soulful passages and throaty growls.

When it comes to CVI, it seems that no one taught Royal Thunder how to write short, concise songs (Barely any songs here are under six minutes) and that’s okay because it’s apparent that RT have something to say and have the chops to do it right. There’s the aforementioned “Parsonz Curse” that, at seven minutes plus, is a fine example of what the rest of CVI holds. Drummer Lee Smith starts things with a  cymbal crash and then some ’70’s soaked Sabbath riffs are concocted by guitarists Josh Weaver and Josh Coleman. Pasonz is the icing on the cake for all of the songs on CVI, though. When she opens her mouth, listeners get a decidedly different band than what they thought taking each and every song to an untouchable level of perfection.

“Whispering World” eases off the length and lays on the blues in a nice little ditty that shimmies and sways. “Shake And Shift” begins with a riff that could’ve been on Blues For The Red Sun before a dual guitar attack by the Joshes hits you in the face as Parsonz brings in the sweet melody. If what you’ve heard up until this point isn’t epic enough for you then “Blue” is sure to change your mind. Listeners will spend the same amount of time head banging as they will shoegazing throughout this metal masterpiece. And if THAT wasn’t enough, “Drown” will completely own you with its brand of rawk drenched awesome.

If you’re looking for for a band that successfully merges Kyuss and Sabbath with the modern flourishes of Kylesa and Baroness coated with a lot of Heart then Royal Thunder is a band you must check out. You know what? You should just check out Royal Thunder regardless of if you like any of those bands because they’re that good.

Royal Thunder’s CVI is out on May 22nd through Relapse Records. Pre-order it from Bandcamp or from Relapse right now!

Grade: A



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