Royal Thunder - Rebuilding the Mountain art

Royal Thunder – Rebuilding the Mountain (Album Review)

Royal Thunder 2023 band photo - Mlny Parsonz, Josh Weaver, Evan Diprima

With a story that dates back to 2004, Royal Thunder are a unique band worth taking a much closer look at. One who would fit nicely within the classic late ‘60s era of music that produced some of the most atmospheric, moody Rock-n-Roll music ever, Royal Thunder have harnessed these influences into something all their own. Led by the incomparable voice of Mlny Parsonz, this band have made a massive impression on whoever has crossed their path; and this was evident with albums such as 2015’s Crooked Doors, leading into 2017’s Wick. Two bold points in their career, their style has steadily progressed over the years, and now they look to set a new standard for themselves with 2023’s Rebuilding the Mountain.

Released on June 16th through Finnish label Spinefarm Records, the band’s fourth overall album is long overdue. Their first in six long years, one could argue this album almost never happened due to the band’s personal battles which made them lose focus in the process. Admitting to their missteps, they are not necessarily looking at this new music as a relaunching of where they left off, but more as a fresh start. Hence the title, Rebuilding the Mountain, they honestly reflect on life, what has transpired, and where to go from here. No journey is ever linear, but thankfully the trio that make up the band – Parsonz, Josh Weaver, and Evan Diprima (who rejoined in 2020 after stepping away back in 2018) – have reconnected with a purpose.  

Feeling inspired and excited to be creating together once more, the work that came out of their writing and recording sessions that make up Rebuilding the Mountain could be their best efforts to date. Where their prior music was very high quality and compelling, wholly, the ten tracks that make up this new album are exceptional. At times sultry, and always thick in atmosphere, these songs are a product of struggle, anguish, and eventual rediscovery. The rediscovery portion is not necessarily a return to the past, but more a moment of clarity that has brought the band a new level of self-awareness.

Quite dark at times, and not overtly in your face, the music that makes up Rebuilding the Mountain is best consumed in a quiet, relaxed setting in order for you to appreciate its true depth. With that, you will experience the insight, passion, and utter despair released in the fabric of these songs. Cathartic, it feels like a great deal is lifted off your chest in the process. Evenly distributed throughout the album, if pushed up against the wall to pick favorites, clear stands would have to be “Drag Me,” “The Knife,” “Twice,” “Live To Live,” “Fade,” and “King.” Each offering something different, “Drag Me” is a slow burning piece that is nothing short of mesmerizing. This is while the single “The Knife” is a gut-wrenching look into one’s soul and the battle to go on. On the other hand, “Twice,” which most recently had a music video put out in August,” is lively, catchy, and equally powerful. And then within the heavier end of this journey, “Fade” engages the senses. However, all things considered, “Live To Live” is the most astounding moment of all here. The type of song that reminds you why music is so powerful, Parsonz’s voice reflects each piece of emotion in such an ear-tingling fashion that cannot be denied.

In the end, Rebuilding the Mountain is a product of real-life experience, maturity, and a refusal to succumb to darkness. It is a Rock-n-Roll record that stands out in a scene that often feels like it is struggling to find an identity. An album you absolutely should not miss, Cryptic Rock gives Rebuilding the Mountain 5 out of 5 stars. 

Royal Thunder - Rebuilding the Mountain album artwork
Royal Thunder – Rebuilding the Mountain / Spinefarm Records (2023)

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