I’ve recently come across Royal Thunder, who play the kind of music you could easily label Desert Rock; Bluesy, “strong but tender” Southern US material. I was especially impressed with their 2010 track, “Mouth of Fire”. Besides being awesome, a curious thing about this song is this: It somehow doesnt represent the band’s self-titled album at all! Click play and read on for the explanation.
listening to this piece makes you immediately recall the good old days ol’ Black Sabbath. Its got *that* riff – the one that just grabs you like a lost memory, finally found; A surge of oldschool energy and melody going through your mind. Its a great song and the vocals fit it beautifully, but naturally, it also makes you expect the rest of the album to continue in the same tradition..aaaaand, well.. that just doesn’t happen!
Let me tell you, this has left me quite confused. Though I am totally for genre-merging, if you ever though Desert Rock and Stoner\Heavy Metal are close genres, this example might change your mind. After “Mouth of War”, the rest of the tracks really drop in stamina, turning into a very mellow record. The thing is, Heavy Metal can too be mellow, but it is always filled with high energy and drive, and that is mostly unfound here.
I’m not saying this album(again, self titled) is bad, just don’t expect it to be a Stoner Metal release. Letting go of that expectation has actually made the album quite enjoyable for me, once I gave it a second listen. If you like classic Desert Rock you can check the rest of the band’s material on their Bandcamp page.