Royal Thunder – Crooked Doors -CD
Crooked Doors is a completely different experience than debut CVI, and while I loved that album greatly, I can easily say this is a cohesive step forward for the talented band. The debut was a collection of awesome songs that could start to feel a little long when taken as one listen. This new record holds me until the last note and often requires a second complete spin. It's very streamlined, yet still offers new variety not previously heard. Just to name a few, excellent track "Floor" closes with a surprise southern hymn-inspired siren song; "Forgive Me, Karma" has a spooky and mysterious vibe with an eastern guitar melody; "One Day" is an unexpectedly classic-style anthem; and closing "The Bear" tracks are piano-driven blues ballads that show the band far beyond their gritty rock we've come to love. There are few upbeat "you're no, no good!" type sing-a-long opportunities with Crooked Doors; this record is more introspective than outwardly anything.