TL;DR: Excitement is growing around the new Royal Thunder album. Someone described it as “heavy metal Fleetwood Mac”. It could be one of the biggest albums of the year, even if it does sounds a bit like Sinead O’Connor back when she was good. You should listen to the first track from it below.
It was late December when I first heard about it. Everything had turned to shit. TeamRock had gone tits up, which meant that Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog were done, and all our plans for online and radio were in tatters.
Phil Wilding had been working on a load of new radio shows – with Avenged Sevenfold, Ian Hunter, Scott Gorham and more – that might never be heard by anyone but him. “And there’s stuff like the new Royal Thunder album,” he said. “Have you heard it yet? It’s amazing. We could really have gone big on that.”
(I hadn’t. I could barely even stand listening to music at this point.)
But then, as we started piecing the whole TeamRock project back together, first by getting the magazine teams back (and making three magazines in record time), then getting the sites back up and running, in no time we had an office full of people, planning stories, reviewing albums, and talking shit about music.
And Royal Thunder was the name that kept coming up. It’s an album that appeals to metalheads, prog nuts, classic and alt-rock fans. An album that feels leftfield enough to satisfy hipsters (expect acclaim from Pitchfork, Uncut etc) but has enough big songs to prompt someone to call them “the heavy metal Fleetwood Mac”. (It reminds me of the considerably-less-cool Sinead O’Connor’s first album – if Sinead’s album had produced by Rick Rubin and her backing band had been QOTSA.)
April Showers isn’t the most instant or accessible song on WICK, but it’s a satisfying slow-burner (brooding and sultry) and the perfect intro to an album we’re going to be talking about all year…