Royal Thunder ‘Reigns’ Storm of Sound on The Aquarium

ROYAL THUNDER | Photo Courtesy

Riding the wave of numerous accolades for new album “WICK”, Royal Thunder brought their tour to The Aquarium April 4.

After local Fargo rockers One Day kicked off the evening, touring opening act Pinkish Black hit the stage. The duo currently consists of Jon Teague (synth/drums) and Daron Beck (vocals/keys/synth). However, they were once a three-piece. Back in 2010 the band originally formed with bassist Tommy Atkins under the name The Great Tyrant. Unfortunately, before the band could release any music, Atkins tragically committed suicide. Teague and Beck decided to carry on under the name Pinkish Black, releasing their self-titled album later the same year to critical acclaim. The band’s specialty is creating soundscapes, seamlessly blending doom rock and ’80s pop synth brightness and spacey psychedelia. Pinkish Black is a band that proves you don’t need a traditional band setup to captivate a live audience.

As great as the opening acts were, Royal Thunder stole the show with ease. Their bluesy doom rock is everything I love about the genre: solid active bass, powerful drums, heavy guitar riffs and a bewitching voice. Doom rock and its sub-genres have proven a haven for powerhouse, gravelly female vocalists, and I’m not complaining.

MLNY Parsonz soars with a voice reminiscent of all your favorite female rockers. The gravel and sensitivity of Janis Joplin, power and bite of Ann Wilson and Grace Slick’s gift for imagery all come together in Parsonz’s voice. Lead guitarist and founder Josh Weaver submerges classic rock riffs in the sludge of ’90s grunge to create skilled playing that complements Parsonz. The depth added by second guitarist Will Fiore adds to the growl of the gain. Drummer Evan Diprima builds off Parsonz’s bass rhythm with skilled compelling beats. The giant gong stationed behind his kit is a nice addition as well.

Royal Thunder’s latest album “WICK” was awarded the No. 8 spot on Rolling Stone’s “20 Best Metal Albums of 2017,” No. 7 on Classic Rock Magazine’s “50 Best Albums of 2017” and snatched No. 19 in Revolver’s “20 Best Albums of 2017” to name just a few accolades. If that doesn’t make you stream their music immediately, I don’t know what will.

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