Royal Thunder fans rejoice! The band has just revealed that they are done recording their new album. Continue reading
As we dash towards the holidays and the end of the year Ghost Cult is feeling good about this season of giving. So we are giving our fans a chance to get to know our partners, peers, and friends from bands in the world of music. They will chime in with some guest blogs, end of year lists, and whatever else is on their minds as we pull the plug on 2015. Today we have José Carlos Santos, who writes a lot about music, being Senior Writer for both Terrorizer and Rock-a-Rolla UK, Chief of staff for LOUD! from Portugal, shared with us his favorite 10 albums of 2015.
1. Solefald – World Metal. Kosmopolis Sud (Indie Recordings)
Pushing the envelope isn’t the half of it. The first song on this truly revolutionary record is called ‘World Music With Black Edges’, and that’s exactly what it is. It should be just about all the guideline you’ll need before embarking on this journey. Black metal, electronics, Frank Zappa and African sounds, among many, many other things, are thrown into a free-flowing, astoundingly cohesive whole. In an age where having two songs that don’t sound like each other is already considered “genre-hopping”, Solefald are one of the few bands worthy of the term avant-garde.
2. Royal Thunder – Crooked Doors (Relapse)
The best pure, true rock album in years, Crooked Doors sees Royal Thunder fulfill the potential they have always shown, and move up to the pantheon of the greats. It feels and sounds timeless – if you hand it to someone and say that it’s a lost 1978 classic, it’ll make the same sense as if you’ll tell them it’s 2024’s album of the year you just brought back from the future in your time machine. A great song is a great song, and they’re all great here.
3. My Dying Bride – Feel The Misery (Peaceville)
My Dying Bride are back to the masterpieces – 14 years after their last truly great record, The Dreadful Hours, Feel The Misery recaptures the tragic sorrow and the decadent grandeur we’ve always loved from them.
4. Revenge – Behold.Total.Rejection (Season Of Mist)
Because fuck you.
5. Dødheimsgard – A Umbra Omega (Peaceville)
The other band alongside Solefald that warrants the proper use of the avant-garde tag, Dødheimsgard have given us a mysterious, shape shifting record, full of dark nuances and details that we’ll still be discovering come the time for the 2016 lists. The best thing Vicotnik’s done since ‘Written In Waters’ – and yes, I’m including ‘666 International’ in that appraisal.
6. Tau Cross – Tau Cross (Relapse)
Amebix are no more, long live Tau Cross. Not only is this the logical successor to the astounding ‘Sonic Mass’, it’s also enriched by the extra talents of Voivod’s Michel “Away” Langevin and crusty guitarists Jon Misery and Andy Lefton, all of them lead to greatness by the might of Rob Miller, who is still one of the most unique songwriters in extreme music.
7. Sigh – Graveward (Candlelight)
Sometimes you’ll have to pause halfway through ‘Graveward’ and wonder how is this possible – roughly five million tracks are all going in a different direction, all at once, and yet everything makes perfect sense, there is order and flow in the middle of the craziness and chaos. Alongside Solefald and Dødheimsgard, you’ve got enough insanity this year to wreck your brain for years to come.
8. Therapy? – Disquiet (Amazing Record Company)
Most of you might only know Therapy?’s most popular phase, but the true essence of the band has been in their last four or five fiery, adventurous and energetic records. ‘Disquiet’ is the best of them all, a mix between instant punk-ish gratification and deep, deceptively simple songwriting that’ll allow for multiple repeat plays without a hint of exhaustion. Also, closer ‘Deathstimate’ is a serious contender for song of the year, or decade, or whatever.
9. Goatsnake – Black Age Blues (Southern Lord)
It’s been a 15 year wait, but for each year of absence there’s a kickass bluesy riff that’ll stay in your head forever. Goatsnake just picked up where they left off, literally – the first song is called ‘Another River To Cross’, a nod to ‘Flower Of Disease’s closer ‘The River’.
10. Steve Von Till – A Life Unto Itself (Neurot)
Rarely has such a subtle and generally quiet record packed such a thunderous emotional punch – the Neurosis guitarist/vocalist might present himself in the sparser, most minimalist fashion, just one man lost in the woods with an acoustic guitar, some effects and his coarse, haunting voice, but these songs will reach down into your heart and squeeze it with the force of a thousand men.
As we dash towards the holidays and the end of the year Ghost Cult is feeling good about this season of giving. So we are giving our fans a chance to get to know our partners, peers, and friends from bands in the world of music. They will chime in with some guest blogs, end of year lists, and whatever else is on their minds as we pull the plug on 2015. Today we have Bidi van Drongelen, Dutch booker and manager who has worked with the likes of The Devil’s Blood, Saint Vitus, Ghost, In Solitude and many more. Every year a multitude of his bands get booked at the excellent Roadburn festival, and we have asked him what he feels were the best releases of 2015.
1. Klone – Here Comes The Sun
Great songwriting, amazing vocals, and a crystal clear though heavy production blending prog and post metal.
2. Ghost – Meliora
Ghost has it all to become one of the leading melodic heavy rock bands in the world
3. Bliksem – Gruesome Masterpiece
If you like Metallica’s Master of Puppets of Death Angel’s ACT III….with the a raw female voice like Doro.
4. Royal Thunder – Crooked Doors
Great atmospheric rock album with the amazing voice of Mlny Parsonsz
5. Tribulation – Children of the Night
Melodies of occult rock like The Devil’s Blood drenched with a satanic black voice which reminds of Satyricon.
6. Chelsea Wolfe – Abyss
Refreshing approach of doom & drone. ART with capital A!
7. Paradise Lost – The Plague Within
8. Steak Number Eight – Kosmokoma
9. Melechesh – Enki
10. Enslaved – In Times
11. Clutch – Psychic Warfare
12. Thy Catafalque – Sgurr
13. Amorphis– Under The Red Cloud
14. RAM – Svbversvm
15. BRING ME THE HORIZON– That’s The Spirit
16. Mgła – Excercises In Futility
17. Baroness – Purple
18. Leprous – The Congregation
19. Graveyard – Innocence & Decadence
20. Hangman’s Chair – This Is Not Supposed To Be Positive
As we dash towards the holidays and the end of the year Ghost Cult is feeling good about this season of giving. So we are giving our fans a chance to get to know our partners, peers, and friends from bands in the world of music. They will chime in with some guest blogs, end of year lists, and whatever else is on their minds as we pull the plug on 2015. Becky Laverty, publicist of Pioneer Press, who takes care of many of our favorite bands in the UK and europe, and handles all things press for Roadburn Festival, Damnation Festival and many others. This lovely lady has agreed to write us a list of her favorite releases of 2015, “in no particular order”.
Chvrches – Every Open Eye
I listen to this to the point that my boyfriend hates it. ‘Empty Threat’ in particular is a banger
Marriages – Salome
I missed seeing them live twice in April, but finally saw them on tour with Deafheaven.’Love, Texas’ is a favourite.
Chelsea Wolf – Abyss
Listening to this feels like drowning, but in a good way.
The Bridesmaid – Grayson
A short release, and one I worked on, but it’s a fantastic first release and I can’t wait to hear what they produce next.
With The Dead – With The Dead
Another I worked on – which was an honour (featuring Lee Dorian of Cathedral) and a lot of fun. The album just crushes, pure and simple.
Insect Ark – Portal/ Well
These are mesmerising live and beautiful to listen to on record. Highly recommended.
Carly Rae Jepson – Emotion
I had to swap this in at the last minute… it’s full of pure pop hits, which in my opinion, is hard to beat.
Beach House – Thank Your Lucky Stars
I listen to this when I’m alone and working quite a lot.
Royal Thunder – Crooked Doors
I have a lot of love for Royal Thunder and want desperately for them to play over here again. ‘Time Machine’ is such a strong opener. Pow!
Tribulation – Children of the Night
Another band that nails it live – 100%, and they’re big fans of a lemon cheesecake martini, I hear.
Follow Becky Laverty and Pioneer Press
When Royal Thunder appeared on the scene a few years ago, there was much hype and early praise for the band. It was a well deserved frenzy of high-profile tours and fests that made them a “buzz band”. You had to stand back and marvel at their music; unafraid to take tried and true elements of rock, blues, and proto-metal and not fall to into the cliches so many others do. Then an interesting thing happened on the way to album number two: coping with being band growing up under a microscope, and the implosion of a relationship within the band. Rather than crumble apart or mail it in for Crooked Doors (Relapse), you have the emotional maelstrom of a finished masterpiece.
Don’t be fooled by the beautifully picked guitars and dolefulness of ‘Time Machine’, the lead track of the album. What ‘Time Machine’ has done by starting with the direct rock approach and almost four-on-the-floor beat is a clever device to lull you in. After the verse, chorus, verse of the first few minutes you are left with transformative middle passage not unlike classic Pink Floyd that doesn’t prepare you for the anguish to come. It’s not about feeling sorry for oneself either. The remainder of the song is a triumph of pained, passionate vocals and wah-soaked guitar leads.
The supremely heavy ‘Forget You’ is more in the style you are accustomed to if you have followed the band from the beginning. Vocalist Mlny Parsonz shows off her range and advanced harmony vocals. She can deliver a bruised, bluesy line with the best of them, including the final refrain of “you better run for your life”. The bands has really learned how to build drama musically to unbearable levels. Guitarists Josh Weaver and Will Fiore weave parts in and out of each other, adding layers upon layers of motifs, adding to the tracks without ever sacrificing the heaviness. ‘Wake Up’ is another track steeped in dynamics and killer performances. Drummer Evan DiPrima is a silent assassin behind the kit. He never over-plays, but has equal moments of bombast and grace. Musically the DNA of this album is similar to the leap in maturity seen by a Mastodon, Baroness or Kylesa over the years, with the members of Royal Thunder knowing just how to transmute their songcraft into something new without ever feeling forced.
There are no throw away songs on this album, and every track rewards with repeated listens. From the dusky vocal lines and neat rhythms on ‘Forgive Me, Karma’, the rough cadences of ‘The Line’, to the classic “Desert Rock” charm of ‘Glow’; each song is an exploration to an inner-space of the bands’ resolute psyche. ‘Ear On The Fool’ is Crooked Doors‘ pièce de résistance. Almost tear rendering, anyone who has ever lost the “love of their life” and lived to tell about it, this track has your name all over it. The track also has the late era-Zeppelin vibe mixed with some of the better guitar interplay of a band like The Eagles down pat.
Closing out the album with the ‘The Bear I’ and ‘The Bear II’, they are less like the prog epic you might have imagined, and more like a funerary march, melting into a torch song. Crooked Doors is the sound of pressure cooking sand into glass and then into diamonds, all with with an alchemy fulled by magic and loss.
One of the most highly anticiapted releases of 2015 is Royal Thunder’s Crooked Doors, coming out on the Relapse label, April 7th. After storming the workld with their critcally acclaimed and beloved by fans CVI album, the Atlanta band is fearting zeo sophmore slump from the sounds of this trailer. A snippit of the track ‘Forget You’ can be heard in the trailer:
Royal Thunder offer a first listen to music from the their sophomore album,Crooked Doors (April 7, Relapse Records), with a brief trailer featuring music from the eleven-song release (http://youtu.be/1IItiIFXbV4).
The band began work on the album in early 2014, returning to record at the Aria Recording Studio where they created the band’s critically lauded debut, CVI. Pitchfork described singer Mlny Parsonz as “a blues-rock banshee of a woman, equal parts riot grrl and gospel diva” while Spin said she “commands a bluesy mix of Led Zep and Sleater-Kinney.” Rolling Stone’s David Fricke said Weaver’s playing has “the meaty, base elements of early-Seventies British blues.”
Crooked Doors track list:
- Time Machine
- Forget You
- Wake Up
- The Line
- Forgive Me, Karma
- Ear On The Fool
- One Day
- The Bear I
- The Bear II
Royal Thunder is Mlny Parsonz, Josh Weaver, Evan Diprima and Will Fiore.