I was first introduced to Royal Thunder while watching Loudwire’s “Not Your Parents’ Top 10 Frontwomen List” video. As a fellow wannabe lady rocker, I am always on the lookout for badass musicians who sing in a register I could actually replicate, at least while driving alone in my car. In the number nine spot was Royal Thunder frontwoman Mlny (pronounced Melanie) Parsonz. The rest of the list was famous bands I’d heard of before; Halestorm, In This Moment, Evanescence, a bunch of hardcore metal artists that weren’t my cup of tea. The brief clip of Royal Thunder was all that stuck with me. Parsonz had an impressive blues growl going on, and the backing instrumentation sounded like classic progressive fare, right up my alley.
I typed Royal Thunder in the search bar and watched the first video that came up, “April Showers” off of their newest album, WICK. The emotions that I felt upon hearing that opening guitar, and seeing a close-up of Mlny’s tattooed hands gripping that bass, are akin to those of finally receiving that thing you’ve been waiting for in the mail. Surprise, delight, and downright giddiness. I myself am a rudimentary bass player, so suddenly Mlny went from a talented frontwoman to an idol in my eyes. Then she belted the chorus and became a goddess. I became obsessed.
I downloaded all three of Royal Thunder’s full-length albums, CVI, Crooked Doors, and WICK, and listened each one of them on repeat over a four-day period.
Crooked Doors, while very emotionally raw and still great, was my least favorite of the three. Most of the songs were simply not my taste. The middle spot goes to WICK, for the vocals and general atmosphere. It reminds me of Kansas, classic in nature with a sprinkle of progressive. CVI was my favorite. This album especially reminded me of one of my other favorite bands, O’Brother. Maybe it’s just because both O’brother and Royal Thunder are from Atlanta, but the lengthy songs and storytelling element are signatures of them both. CVI has that gritty, southern, motorcycle-esque sound that I love coupled with a bit of mysticism. If you plan to sell your soul to the devil at a crossroads, consider this album for the drive there.
If you don’t have time to listen to all three albums, or are just tired of reading this article and wish I would get on with it already, here is a list of top five must-hear tracks:
- “Parsonz Curse”
- “Sleeping Witch” (It picks up I promise, and it’s worth the wait.)
- “Drown” (Also picks up, you’re almost there.)
- “Forget You”
Royal Thunder have now been slotted with O’brother, Circa Survive, and the Deftones in my favorite bands of all time.
WICK came out in 2017, so we have a while to wait for new music. Rest assured you’ll hear from me again the minute that fourth album drops.
Royal Thunder is on tour this summer. Make sure to catch one of their shows.
Hannah is a fiction writer who somehow ended up studying engineering in Salt Lake City. She can be found in the wild hunched over a laptop or petting cats on the street. Her favorite things are music, books, fashion, and programs that do math so she doesn’t have to.