Royal Thunder: Metal With Heart and Soul

Atlanta, GA has become a hotbed of heavy music in recent years, and with recent exports like Royal Thunder, here's hoping it doesn't stop anytime soon. The female-fronted four-piece makes an unforgettable first impression, with Mlny Parsonz's glorious, gritty voice crooning atop thick Sabbathian guitars lead by a subtle southern groove. A foundation firmly set in blues-based rock 'n' roll, brimming with heart, soul and some serious chops, Royal Thunder stunned with their 2010 debut EP, and return with an even stronger effort on their first proper full-length, CVI. Boasting catchy vocal melodies, satiating riffs and intricate song structures that slither down serpentine paths, meandering in and out of epic instrumentation before hooking you right back in, this is easily one of our favorite records of the year so far.

Seeing them perform live is equally, if not more, impressive, which is why Google Play sought them out at SXSW to capture an exclusive, acoustic performance of one of their latest tracks, "Black Water Vision." Shot by a babbling brook in the heart of downtown Austin, watch the passionate performance and get that track for free along with another plugged-in offering gratis, the foot-tapping "Whispering World." And if that doesn't quench your need for more from this band, watch our exclusive interview with Royal Thunder to learn more about their influences in their own words. – Jen Guyre, Google Play

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