Dutch Metal outfit The Royal have been making waves ever since their 2012 single Blind Eye. Currently on tour in Europe the band are continuing to make splashes through live performances. Alongside this current tour the band recently released their new record Seven, for a band with such a good driving force behind them after supporting the likes of Architects this album promises to be a big accelerator for the band. Without further ado let’s break down The Royal’s Seven.
Opening up Seven is Thunder which if you mind the pun is thunderous, with a wall of guitars bringing in this opening track and album there is a great sense of what is to come from the Dutch outfit. Overall Thunder is a well presented opening track which allows Seven to open with a lot of promise, through not only the instrumentation but also well crafted vocals the track does what it needs to, although there is variety in pacing this opener allows the band to show off a little as The Royal’s album begins.
Coming next is a duo of tracks the first of which is Feeding Wolves, this track despite it’s opening soon comes crashing in to a full frontal attack of guitars and drums which occasionally feel deafening with their composition, alongside this despite the softer opening, which is lacking from any other part of this song, the riffs and instrumentation starts to feel extremely laboured as the track reached its 5 minute run time. Paired with this track is Wildmind which has this shifting tempo and instrumentation that felt missing from the first two songs. With this slight change in instrumentation and pacing the track somewhat shows the potential the rest of this record has.
After this quick duo of tracks there comes a trio of tracks which continue along this line of high octane instrumentation that the band display true prowess in. The first of this trio is Creeds and The Vultures which shows a bit more diversity in their clear ability to play, as it is in this track that The Royal that there is more emphesis on the levels and diversity the band can bring in to a singular track and with Sem Pisharahu’s vocals laying on top of that the band re-affirm their ability to create a cohesive track.
The second part of this trio is Counterculture which has an opening which is somewhat misleading, with this piano introduction it seems to be this moment of complete dynamic change which could have been an interesting change at this point on the album but that is soon revoked as the piano medley is replicated by the wall of guitars that come crashing in. Despite this Counterculture is the strongest cut off this album as in comparison to the rest of the track listing this is the one track that carries on far past it’s run time and with it’s vocal performance and instrumentation it is a track that can be spun time and time again.
The final part of this trio few tracks is simply titled Interlude and it is where The Royal seem to calm down, allow for a break from the wall of sound that has been present so far on this record, the only thing missing from this track is some clean vocals or spoken word which could have solidified Interlude as the strongest track on this record simply due to its dynamic change.
Following on from this short break is the the album’s title track Seven, a song which seems to bring the band back in to full swing as this yet again is a strong contender for the best cut off of this record with what is a extremely well orchestrated track in terms of not only vocal performance but also instrumentation. Accompanying this track are the songs Life Breaker and Thalassa which unfortunately bring nothing new to the table with the former being the weakest cut off this album. Despite both having strong instrumentation and still displaying the bands capability to create a cohesive track, Life Breaker just seems to be missing something to warrant more than a spin or two.
The penultimate track on this record by The Royal is Draining Veins which manages to get the ball rolling again, with the interesting and well orchestrated instrumentation the band show their ability to get things moving again with an impressive number, especially after what had been a dull note through Life Breaker and Thalassa. The main highlight from Draining Veins is its orchestration as with the way in to which is picks up the pace before subtly moving it back down again the song has this almost circular effect, which is a great addition as the album starts to come to it’s close.
Rounding off Seven is the final cut of this record Viridian. With the somewhat understated instrumentation the song comes in gently and slowly finds it’s footing as the track builds up to it’s climaxed point, which at this point the ranging dynamics are great and something that could have been done before this point. However, once this track kicks in The Royal show all the have, with slick riffs and powerful drums which help carry the track at a blistering pace the band show their music prowess yet again. Overall this track is a powerful closer which is allows the band to close off this album despite the brief moment where the band changed pace again but soon reverted back to the crashing wall of guitars and drums which have featured heavily on this record.
Overall Seven by The Royal showcases the band doing what they do best, with this metal, groove and melody mix the band are creating something that is very cohesive with many highlights. However, although this album is strong in all aspects of instrumentation and vocals it does lack this variety in dynamics which would be a great addition and would propel this album further, as the wall of guitars does at times becomes labouring to listen to. Despite this, if you are a fan of Metal, then The Royal’s album Seven is definitely not something to skip. [6.5/10]