There is a satisfyingly meaty sound to Black Royal that erupts from the speakers on the very first song, the aptly titled Cryo-Volcanic. Cryo-Volcanic is a strong opener full of lead-filled riffs, a nice thick bass, thumping drum patterns and bellowed vocals. Lightbringer is off to a great start. The second track, Self-Worship, has a little more swagger to the music, particularly through the opening riff. The chorus carries a powerful melodic hook that is sure to linger in the brain for days after. The third song, Salvation‘s opening sounds like it was lifted from an old Hammer Horror movie! I shit you not. This track soon settles into a sludgy doom riff for the verse. After the first two songs, this one runs out of steam a little for me. The punk rock influenced Denial is up next. It’s a bit of a wake-up call after Salvation with its energetic verse. Don’t worry, the sludgy doom stuff returns for the slowed down chorus and more thunder-filled riffs.
With Pentagram Doctrine, the band returns with a suffocating, oppressive opening riff before settling into a Mastodon like verse. In fact, this track could easily sit on Mastodon‘s recent album, Emperor of Sand. The album’s title track, Lightbringer, begins with a rumbling drum pattern and matching guitar sound as does following track, The Chosen. Both are solid songs but they ain’t as good as Dying Sun. There is a little more urgency with this track and I like it a lot. New World Order is perhaps my favourite track. I was a little concerned with the start of the song as it has some acoustic guitar. For a moment I thought we were heading into ballad territory. However, I needn’t have worried, New World Order is a snarling, chugging song that also features some mellower moments (even a hint of Pink Floyd!) and a huge sound. The final offering is the acoustic Ou[t]roboros, which actually sits quite well with me. It’s a short song with some spoken word female vocals over the top and works well as a closing number.
Black Royal does more than enough to keep me interested. Lightbringer is full of great songs, a nice thick sound and some memorable hooks. Fans of Mastodon and the like would do well to dig on these guys.
Thanks to Viral Propaganda PR for sending me a digital copy for review \,,/
5. Pentagram Doctrine
7. The Chosen
8. Dying Star
9. New World Order
Formed in 2013 in Tampere – Finland, Black Royal play a highly infectious combination of Scandinavian death metal with a crushing sludge. The band has released two EPs and a digital single since their formation and just recently they’ve signed a record deal with Suicide Records for the release of their debut album “Lightbringer”, due out on March 9th 2018.