Saturday, April 11, 2015

Royal Thunder- "Crooked Doors"

    Now, a review for one Relapse Record’s finest up and coming rock groups, Royal Thunder. The Atlanta, GA based band return with their sophomore album, “Crooked Doors.” As if people can’t stop listening to their debut release, “CVI,” the band has found another way to keep fans glued to their speakers.
    “Crooked Doors,” demonstrates Royal Thunder’s great song writing abilities and amazing musicianship. The production value along with the different guitar sounds captured throughout this album, have an unbelievably unique and distinct sound. Also, singer/bassist Miny Parsonz, has a voice that can captivate listeners while drawing them into this pleasant dark world that delivers such great raw emotion.
    The first song, “Time Machine,” is a perfect introduction for anyone who may have not heard of this band before. At first the band constructs this mellow psychedelic atmosphere and becomes heavier when Miny’s deliver becomes more aggressive. The song is a journey through a whole diverse canyon of sounds and the quality of the recording does the track so much justice.
    Track number two, “Forget You,” begins with a short burst of feedback and then explodes into a hard hitting doom rock riff. The guitar tone is bold and unapologetic just like the lyrics of the song. The follow up song, “Wake Up,” starts off a lot different and takes on this psychedelic vibe. Each note rings out over Miny’s voice with perfect pitch and mind numbing tone.
    Songs like “Floor” and “The Line” have a classic hard hitting sound. I really like the song, “The Line.” The lyrics are constructed in this extremely powerful manner. One verse that stood out is, “Throw your best friend into the fire and then spit them into the grave.” The way that she says those lines with such furious emotion is utterly amazing.
    “Forgive Me, Karma,” is a bit slower, but progresses with a variety of different compositions. I really liked how the guitars were recorded and the guitar effect used for the introduction riff is very calming. Track number seven, “Glow,” has this mix of blues and psychedelic rock, and is an overall decent sounding track. “Ear of the Fool,” is another well written piece of music. From the drums to the guitar chords used, there is a sense of unity and every sound works to form one strong musical entity.
    The track, “One Day,” continues the more solemn sounding hard rock approach. For me the guitar solo on, “One Day,” is full of great emotion when the notes ring out as guitarist Josh Weaver glides through the scale. The final two tracks, “Bear I” and “Bear II,” were a bit of a surprise, however, they were a creative way to end this album. The tempo is drastically slowed down and the band seems to fade away. “Bear II” features a piano piece that gives the song a pleasant sound and helps wrap up the diverse psychedelic doom rock journey.
    This album was definitely an enjoyable listen and full of many different great hard rock songwriting writing examples. The music has raw emotion, a quality that you do not get most often these days. I think this band as a whole has great chemistry and the album’s overall sound speaks for itself. “Crooked Doors,” is a must listen for fans of creative rock music that does not fail to capture your imagination.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Interview with the Band: Blackened

 Here is an interview with the Brazilian Thrash band, "Blackened." Check out their EP, "Underground Attack." It will thrash your face off!!! \m/

Q: Hello guys! Thanks for taking the time to do this interview.

Blackened: Hello! We do appreciate for the opportunity to doing this interview.

Q: So, I might as well begin with a question about your 2014 release, “Underground Attack,” which I reviewed not too long ago (a release that I must say sounds kick ass from start to finish). How pleased are you with the songs on that album? Could you talk about how you recorded the album? How long it took to record?

Blackened: We are very pleased with the outcome of the EP and with all the attention it has received after launch. The recording of the album was great, because we weren’t under pressure to record this. So, it was fine and in 12 hours we recorded the album.

Q: All the songs on “Underground Attack” are solid sounding crossover thrashing tracks in my opinion. However, if you were to pick one, what song is your favorite? Also, what song on the album does think was the most challenging to come up with?

Blackened: I guess our favorite song from “Underground Attack” is Extreme Violence, it still sounding so great when we play. The most challenging song was TxNxDx (Thrash Never Dies) mainly in the recording of the drums, guitars and vocals.

Q: I thought the lyrics on “Underground Attack” really had substance and vividly came alive during certain songs such as, “Third World.” What inspirations do you take from the world around you to write such powerful lyrics? Who usually writes the lyrics, or do you all contribute?

Blackened: “Third World” is especially based in all the corruption that controls Brazil, is in historic trouble and we are not pleased with it, we want changes, we want to live in a country that the politicians respect the people, here, they don’t give a fuck for the people, they just think in more money by the corruption. Is a sad thing.

Q: Okay, this question came to me when I first received the EP, did you guys decide to name the band Blackened after the Metallica song? Also, what are some of your favorite bands? Here is another one relating to the last question in a way, what is your favorite heavy metal album if you could only pick one?

Blackened: Yeah! When we were choosing the name we were thinking in a name that remembers the old school spirit, so we thought, “Blackened” can be pretty good. We like very much bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Violator, Municipal Waste, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Mastodon, Sepultura, Kreator, Descendents, Dead Kennedys, Black Flag and Bad Brains. For J„o (Bass/Vocals) is Master of Puppets, from Metallica , for Jo„o Vitor (Guitars) is Crack the Skye, from Mastodon, for Marcelo (Drums) is Surf Nicaragua, from Sacred Reich and for Ulisses (Guitars) is Rust in Peace, from Megadeth.

Q: I was wondering if you could talk about the music scene in your area. How often do you have the opportunity to play shows?

Blackened: Actually, the music scene is growing a lot here, mainly the thrash scene. We have been playing with bands that influenced us, like Poison Beer, and bands that appeared when we had already started playing, like Evil Exorcist, Murdeath, Rot Remains, and we are very close with them. About the shows, we have one almost every month. People here in the scene try to do everything as possible to make shows, including doing them in their own houses.

Q: Now, touring globally for metal bands is difficult these days unless you are a band like Metallica. However, if you were to tour the world, what are some of the places that you would like to play?

Blackened: I think we would play anywhere people called us haha, that’s pretty much how we have been doing things here in Brazil. We have plans to tour Europe and South America after the release of the full length, but we are really curious to know how Europe is like, since most of the bands get on really well there.

Q: I read in your press kit that you have a new album on the horizon that will be released through the Witches Brew. Is there by chance an exact date as to when the album will be finished and available for ravenous thrash maniacs to own? Also, what formats will you have album available on? CD? Vinyl? 8-Track...probably not.

Blackened: We are going to record it on July probably and we are planning to launch it on mid-October, with 700 copies from Witches Brew, and, for now, only on CD.

Q: Alright guys, thanks again for taking the time to do this interview and keep on thrashing! \m/

Blackened: We thank you very much for doing this interview with us. We’ll keep on playing, because thrash never dies!!!
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