The Royal – Deathwatch

Metalcore. It has gone from an inventive melding of metal and hardcore to a term that loosely defines an incredibly large amount of mediocre modern metal and very few stand out bands. The Royal do not plumb the depths that have been well explored by so many bands since the turn of the century, but neither do they have the incredible invention and song-writing of bands like Killswitch Engage or Parkway Drive.

As soon as this album starts the production immediately fails to disentangle itself from the uniform sound of their peers. The overly mechanical drum sound and paint by numbers guitar tone sounds like any number of other bands. A happily distinguishing feature is the vocals. The voice of Sam Pisarahu moves effortlessly from a death metal-esque growl to a glass shattering screech that wouldn’t be out place in corpse paint in Norway.

The stand out moment is Savages, which boasts a great riff, and a chorus that arrives amid melodic guitar leads while Pisarahu bellows his call to arms. Sadly, it is a rare standout moment. The majority of this album sounds very run-of-the-mill, and the few experimentations when they do come, such as the lead piano line in State of Dominance, unfortunately don’t translate as well as they might have liked and end up sounding like many things were thrown at the wall and didn’t quite stick.

Tom Butterworth

April 17, 2019

Hi, I'm Tom Butterworth. Born and raised in Northampton, resident in Liverpool for six years now. I've been obsessive about music for over ten years. My favourite bands include Nightwish, Death, Letlive, Slipknot,, The Menzingers, Gojira, Opeth and Pink Floyd among others. \m/


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