Review: Royal Thunder – Crooked Doors

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I guess we’re over halfway through this decade now, huh? Remember five years ago when it was suddenly cool for metal bands to play slow blues scales through Sunn amps again? Wasn’t it nice that our vintage metal tees were in vogue after the death of the Myspace-fueled “neon years” and all the pretty dudes/dudettes/dude-non-conformers thought your patch vest was super underground and hip? Validation for the underdog is sweet, right?

But has the doom trend peaked? Doesn’t it seem like it, when everyone from Mastodon to Baroness has wiped all the dirt off their Orange cabs and started singing like Chad Kroeger? If so, what’s next for melodic rock bands with huge amps and thick guitar tone? Is the answer… alternative hard rock? As in the stuff that dominated radio in the mid 90’s? Will we start seeing Soundgarden back patches on battle vests soon? In a couple years will all the cool hesher kids be jocking Hum and Failure as underappreciated classics alongside D.R.I. and Razor?

Does that mean that Royal Thunder are ahead of the curve with their new album Crooked Doors? Am I the only one who thinks this record sounds like a shoegaze remix of a better-than-normal Stone Temple Pilots record? Is that a good thing?

 

Speaking of which, we’ve all noticed that shoegaze is way more popular these days, right? That’s pretty cool, isn’t it? Doesn’t My Bloody Valentine deserve to be heard by more young ears than kids that read Radiohead’s entire Wikipedia page in 10th grade? But is it actually just a fad bubble connected to arbitrary 90’s worship? Are we bringing back the classics or just letting misguided nostalgia get to us? Wouldn’t that be a shame if this all turned out to be just like the regrettable 80’s phase of pop bands trying to bring back the ‘50s, but with shitty synths? Can you tell that I don’t quite know how to feel about all of this?

Am I just being close minded if I think Crooked Doors is the death knell of my interest in Royal Thunder? Am I thinking too hard about its implications, instead of just listening to the songs? Don’t you think I considered that after both times I fell asleep trying to get through the album? Must I have been simply imagining my numerous involuntary cringes at all the overwrought attempts at gritty, soulful singing on this record? Is it worth listening to for a few nice beats and catchy riffs if the whole package just oozes poor taste?

…No. No it’s not.

FLUSH

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  • Dagon

    God, my jimmies were rustled by seeing Baroness and Mastodon on the same sentence as Chad Kroeger. But I get your point.

    • Herr Schmitty

      I’ve destroyed several inanimate objects in the time it took me to get from that sentence to this comments section, ’tis true.

  • Masterlady

    I wanted to love this album way more than I do. It makes me sad.

    • KimJongUn’s Crunchy Chest Hair

      Don’t worry, there’s those of us who can’t stand it at all.

  • Stanley

    I’m prefer crooked crosses to crooked doors.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PkRonbQap4&spfreload=10

    • Tyree
      • Stanley

        When I was in a band we used to cover Terrible Certainty. Can’t play it any more though. I can still play Riot of Violence as it’s more at my current level. 🙁

        • Lacertilian

          The Pestilence is my go-to. I never learned it though, it should be done.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      … Satan.

    • Reichsmarschall Dean von Steel
      • Stanley

        Good call. I guess I should have thought a little more about the wording of my post. On one hand you have Sabbat’s fable of history repeating and learning from mistakes and then you have Bolzer! What a riff though.

        • Reichsmarschall Dean von Steel

          Yep. Bolzer walks that line pretty hard. A lot of people completely missed the iconography and themes around the band and their music–stuff that’s very “un-P.C.” and tends to make people uncomfortable. I’m a huge Bolzer fan, but there’s no denying they are into some questionable stuff. Funny how people missed the “wolf’s hook” and “crooked cross” bit. I guess that riff overshadowed it (rightfully so!) It took KzR’s swastika tattoos to finally raise eyebrows. I’m not saying they are a racist band, but they do like to flirt with the ugly.

          • Stanley

            I’ve read a few interviews with him and although he outright denies any racist tendencies (including highlighting that his father is black), it is hard to see past the tattoos and wolfshock iconography.

          • KimJongUn’s Crunchy Chest Hair

            Kinda sounds about like the shit Death In June, Non and Current 93 got into about the same thing, though no swastika tattoos. That’s almost always a dead giveaway, unless you’re Wattie (The Exploited, who’s explained that is was just a way to piss off people back in the late 70’s, and was common in the punk scene).

          • KimJongUn’s Crunchy Chest Hair

            What is a wolf’s hook?

          • Reichsmarschall Dean von Steel

            http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf%27s_Hook

            Was one of the original symbols of the NSDAP. It’s a German runic symbol.

          • KimJongUn’s Crunchy Chest Hair

            Huh huh crampon…………

  • I listened to one of the songs the record label posted on YouTube and thought it was mediocre at best. I’ve got too much music that is probably good to listen to. I’m not going to bother with this. Good doom or heavy metal? Visigoth, Night Demon, and Enforcer all have awesome albums out right now.

    • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

      I loved the Enforcer album as well as all of their other albums.

      • I haven’t listened to their other albums yet but based upon the new one, I shall do so soon.

    • TheRedman(formerly God ov All)

      Seeing Visigoth next week! Thanks to Masterlord for the heads up.

      • Listened to their whole album on the way to the ear doctor yesterday. It put me in a really great mood. I was ready to crush posers by the time I got home.

      • KimJongUn’s Crunchy Chest Hair

        Goddamn that will SLAY!!!!!!

  • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

    I didn’t like this album as much as I thought I would. I do like STP but I hope 90’s nostalgia is peaking and will be gone soon. I don’t want to hear Soundgarden and Stone Temple Pilots ripoffs when I can listen to the real thing.

    • RepostedAvengedSevenfoldFan

      man I do wish I could be Fred Durst for a day. Back in 1999…. it would have been interesting to see what it was like to be a GOD!?

      -Joe Smith, 3 weeks ago

    • You know something’s completely wrong when Mr. Janitor begs for the stop of a retro stuff.

  • Dagon

    A lot of dudes in TovH:FB showed appreciation for this album. I’m sticking around to watch the bloodsports. Will be extremely disappointed if no one fights 🙁

    • EsusMoose

      Blood for the blood god! I disagree with pumpkin baby but I didn’t care too much for the first album so the change in style is welcomed

    • TheRedman(formerly God ov All)

      I forgot my fucking email and login for the TovH facebook. That’s why I haven’t been in forever.

      • Herr Schmitty

        Bro-han, the hijinks you have missed… oooh lawd.

        Tyree in particular is an all-star. When he’s not posting bands whose vocals sound like Satan himself, he’s starting the very best metal-face-and-intoxication threads ever created.

        • Every week we have a Tyree selfie. And that’s good.

        • TheRedman(formerly God ov All)

          Fuck it, I’ll just create a new login.

    • Pagliacci is Kvlt O)))

      I haven’t heard the whole album yet, and my constitution score is too low (thanks to a cold) to fight right now. Give me a couple of days.

    • KimJongUn’s Crunchy Chest Hair

  • TheRedman(formerly God ov All)

    Amazing. 10/10 would read again – IGN

    Seriously, I love hard rock as much as the next poser, but this is disappointing for Royal Thunder.

    • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

      I love it too but I don’t like this that much.

  • dingus

    It’s definitely front-loaded with the best songs, but I love Mlny’s voice all the way through

  • Agreed. Album is lame. And (here it
    comes again) way too fucking long. Did you really need to record an entire hour of boring swill? Royal bummer.

    • Dagon

      I just imagined how much you would have complained about To Pimp A Butterfly if you were a rap fan.

    • The Beargod

      Was too busy getting bored by the second song to notice the extensive length. She got good voice tho, but no songs.

    • Tyree
      • Man, I sorta forgot that Nugent can play since my main focus on him now is all the shitty shit that comes out of his shitty mouth.

        • Tyree

          Yeah I have no real beef with his music. I actually really like a lot of it, but his political mouth is just embarrassing.

    • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

      I don’t like this as much as Blues Pills or even Purson. I’m giving it a chance and it just reminds me of a clone of that band Courtney Love was in. I like that band more than this band.

    • That’s my opinion on the new Nightwish album. Boring and long overstays its welcome.

  • I’ll be the voice of dissent then, and say that it’s one of my favorites of the year so far.

    • cosigned.

      • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

        Amos plz!

      • Stanley

        Did you ever check our that Witchcraft link that I sent you a while back?

        • yup, i listened to all songs off of Legend and remember liking them a lot!

      • TheRedman(formerly God ov All)

        Exactly it for me. It’s good, but it’s not royal thunder.

      • HessianHunter

        I thought old Royal Thunder was decent but I wasn’t super attached to them. I don’t feel betrayed; just honestly bored.

    • Siqq Burnington

      Seconded.

  • whoa… did not see this coming. as per @dagonthefishgod:disqus’s request, i’d like to fight somebody (for the first time in my life).
    BTW, fucking love everything Failure and Hum have done. dem’s my high school jammies!

  • The Beargod

    I haven’t heard all of this, I won’t either.
    I’m glad this album was flushed. But I expected all of yous to love this, I recall much Royal Blunder love here.
    On another note, ending up on 10th grade in Finland means you are a fricken failure.

  • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

    I’ll listen to it again and decide who is right about this album.

  • Metaphysical Anus

    No (to the music, not to the review).

  • Scrimm

    Everyone singing like Chad Kroeger? Bye guys. https://media4.giphy.com/media/1zhkrVaDC8NoI/200.gif

  • Tyree
  • Dr. Dubz

    I guess I’ll just file this under “Continue to not care whatsoever about this band.”

  • The Beargod

    You have two songs called The Bear to close your album and you still couldn’t keep me?
    Close, but no cigar.

  • RepostedAvengedSevenfoldFan

    I remember when I was younger I used to be emo and shit, but every emo here will grow out of it because it’s just a phase. I mean no one wants to be a creepy 35 year old emo dressed in all black and shit.

    -Carlos Montoya, 1 hour ago

  • Mon*Star

    What happened between their last album and this one? It’s like a different band with the same name. Very disappointing.

  • HessianHunter

    It feels good to finally flush something. Thanks for the support, y’all. FUCK DA HATTERZ DOE

  • CyberneticOrganism

    I dig this, sounds like a soundtrack to a bonfire + craft beer session.

  • CT-12

    Sounds pretty good to me, regardless, a little contention never hurts!

  • Sounds like they attempted to do the radio rock thing but someone forgot to tell them that the songs are too fucking long!!!!!!!

  • BLOODBEARDE

    Brutal.

    So, guess which restaurant our district manager is taking us to tonight. You only get one guess.

    I also learned if you type toiletovhell in your gps, it puts you somewhere in oslo, norway.

    • Sir Tapir the Based

      TB?

      • BLOODBEARDE

        I didn’t know tapirs could eat tuberculosis

    • CyberneticOrganism

      That may be my fault, I think I checked into toiletovhell as a goof when I was in Oslo.

    • KimJongUn’s Crunchy Chest Hair
      • CyberneticOrganism

        WANT. So, so badly want.

        • KimJongUn’s Crunchy Chest Hair

          Been there, but that was back in early 2008. Only cost me $250 (which is a bargain) for me and my fiance at the time. Smoked up shortly before, and it was beyond words how good it was! And you know how the rest of the night went, lol.
          His book, Life On The Line, is also one of my top 10 favorite books. Definitely read it if you have the chance, and it’s pretty short. His Alinea cookbook? Don’t bother unless you want a really fancy piece for your coffee table. Neither you or I will be able to make those dishes, afford the ingredients or even afford the equipment.

    • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

      Is it BDubs?

    • Texas Roadhouse

  • CyberneticOrganism

    90s nostalgia is a goddamned plague. Fuck that shit right to hell.

    • ’80s nostalgia OTOH. BRING BACK THE EIGHTIES.

      • JWG

        I for one, apprehensively await 201x’s nostalgia.

        Given the pattern of how each decade’s nostalgia movement gets closer to the last year of that actual decade, I figure it will kick off in just about 2022.

      • CyberneticOrganism
    • KimJongUn’s Crunchy Chest Hair

      I loved the 90’s, but then again almost all the trends flew over my head.

  • RustyShackleford

    Oh shit! I took the day off from the Toilet and my jimmies have been rustled to da max! I don’t think I could disagree more, this album has been on repeat for me all week. I feel like the riffs and vocals are insanely powerful, and I’m really into the cleaner guitar tones. That being said, I also dig all the newer material from Mastodon/Baroness, so I can see if our taste diverge a teeny bit here lol. Regardless, I respect your opinion pumpkin baby! Pumpkins are delicious. Yep.

    • KimJongUn’s Crunchy Chest Hair

      Not as badly as I rustled everyone’s jimmies with my open hatred of Darkthrone/Fartthrone. If I was new here, and people didn’t love my Bestest Leader charms, they would’ve hung me by my colon and used me as a pinata.

    • it’s the kind of review that got people talking!

  • KimJongUn’s Crunchy Chest Hair

    I doubt it’s the case elsewhere, but Hum (since you mentioned them) are legends on the Chicago scene, and have been for a long long time. If I remember correctly, they did a string of sold out shows there not long ago.

    • they played in St. Louis some four years ago, of course i couldn’t go because my then-girlfriend signed me up to go to some unimportant dinner party.
      “this could be my only chance to see them live, ever”
      “YOU AGREED TO GO TO MY FRIEND’S DINNER PARTY”

  • KimJongUn’s Crunchy Chest Hair

    Egads, this is -10000000 tendies! It sounds like Souxie And The Banshees having a stroke.

    http://i127.photobucket.com/albums/p159/Comic_Vine/Animated%20Gif/ANiAlfFlush.gif

  • xengineofdeathx

    I think this album fucking rules, but it is a little too long.

    • I love your avatar and I want that pic tattoed in my back.

      • xengineofdeathx

        Zen circles are the tits!

    • hey d00d, haven’t met you yet. hai!

      • xengineofdeathx

        What’s up brohammer?

  • Akerskronks ov Steele

    This album is my new jam.

  • Nibbles

    You are wrong sir

  • Lacertilian

    Putting the music aside, I had to double-check that the cover art wasn’t done by Paul Romano (workhardened), kinda similar to some of the stuff he did a while back. Seems more digital than organic though.