Black Royal, Earthbound (M-Theory Audio 2022)

The third full-length album from Finland’s Black Royal is heavy enough to flatten the planet: Earthbound.

Black Royal opened their books in Tampere, Finland in 2013. Over the course of several years they released a string of singles and a couple of EPs on the way to their debut long player, Lightbringer, in 2018. Firebride came two years later, and now we have the latest. You could describe the music as death metal or doom, and really it is an enmeshing of these forms with unique other elements that give Black Royal their unrivaled sound. The Metal Archives tells us the band is Jukka (drums), Toni (guitar), Riku (vocals), and Pete (bass).

The opening track is “Earthbound,” a song made of heavy enough metal to smash flat the crustiest obstacle. Huge dooming guitars and coarse growls erect a massive wall of sound that knocks you back. “Ghosts of the Dead” picks up the pace and shakes the dust off with a forceful charge. The song has a sorrowful center surrounded by impenetrable cliffs of metal. “Conjuration” continues the rampage, sounding like a warning we are unlikely to heed. There is a great grooving hook in there that keeps everything moving along at pace.

The entire album has a raging metal pulse. I particularly appreciate “13th Moon” for its solid kicks that just keep coming, and “Bleed Your Soul” as an opposing force for its stark solitude conveyed up front and continuingly even with the chomping rhythm throughout the song. “Queen of the Underworld,” too, is a great doom song. The record ends with “Rite of Passage,” fittingly the longest track of the set. It has a disarming setup and a crushing finish that is satisfying and haunting. Good work all around. Recommended.

Earthbound hits the streets on Friday, October 21st through M-Theory Audio. Have a look at the links below.




M-Theory Audio,

© Wayne Edwards

Black Royal, Earthbound (M-Theory Audio 2022)