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  • Jason Hesley

Finnish Sludge/Death Masters BLACK ROYAL Unveil Video For 'Earthbound'

Finnish metal quartet BLACK ROYAL – whose blend of lurching sludge and groove-laden death metal is inflected with lyrics inspired by Scandinavian and Sami mythology – have signed with M-Theory Audio. The group's third full-length album “Earthbound” is set for release later this year. Pre-order links will be revealed in the weeks to come. In the meantime, the music video for the title track can be viewed HERE.

Says the band of the inspiration for the title track, “It started out as more of a tribute to Crowbar - one of BLACK ROYAL ́s big favorites - but took a turn in a bit more epic direction. The lyrical story line was inspired by the ancient Scandinavian/Sami myths of the netherworld. For example, 'northern fire beliefs' have been associated with perceptions of the afterlife. The aurora borealis were considered as the lives of those who died by the sword, those who fell in the war, or those who were violently killed. Their constant fighting and the blood flowing from their wounds were reflected in the northern sky like northern lights.

Also, in early arctic primeval communes, a social life of a man was left shorter than his physical one. If at old age one became useless in the eyes of his community, his presence wasn't socially noticed. If an old man couldn't provide food for himself and take part in hunting or cultivation, his children were asked to escort him on to his final path. He was a useless man to that community and that decision was a social death. The elder man was allowed to decide for himself the time of his own death and that decision was honored thoroughly.”

BLACK ROYAL formed in Tampere, Finland in 2013, and unleashed two self-released EP's – 2015's “The Summoning Pt. 1” and 2016's “The Summoning Pt. 2” before signing with Swedish-based Suicide Records for the release of their 2018 debut full-length, “Lightbringer.” The latter slab of sludge-infused death metal made waves within their homeland's metal scene by making Inferno Magazine's Top 10 Albums of 2018 list. The album was praised by Angry Metal Guy for its “giant riffs and primal groove” and applauded by Metal Temple for its “refined arrangements and impactful atmosphere.” The group also made its presence felt on the live stage after the release of “Lightbringer,” culminating in a performance at Tuska Open Air 2018.

BLACK ROYAL's second album “Firebride” was released in February 2020. The effort saw the group continue to build upon the momentum of their previous effort and refine their varied influences into a more cohesive display of suffocating death metal, hypnotic sludge, and catchy rock hooks. MetalSucks asserted that BLACK ROYAL crafted “some pretty gnarly sludge ‘n’ roll” and No Clean Singing noted that “for all its buzz-saw riffery and doomy delirium, 'Firebride' [was] all about the hooks.” Ghost Cult Magazine cited vocalist Riku‘s “harsh bark” and Jukka‘s “mammoth drums” while also giving plaudits to a sound that was “given touches of both tradition and imagination by [guitarist] Toni’s leadplay” and bass notes from Pete that resembled “a jet taking off.”

BLACK ROYAL entered Studio Watercastle in August 2021 to begin laying down the tracks that would become their third full-length album – and M-Theory Audio debut - “Earthbound.” Mixed by Oskari Hakala Rahko and mastered by Jaakko Viitalähde (Convulse, Oranssi Pazuzu, Dark Buddha Rising), the record is set to be the group's heaviest mix of sludgy riffs and death metal power yet. The band is also set to once again unleash their wicked brew on live stages across Finland and elsewhere this summer. The full list of live performances is below.

More information on BLACK ROYAL and the upcoming release of “Earthbound” will be revealed in the weeks to come at and by M-Theory Audio.

BLACK ROYAL Live Performances:

June 4th - Varjobarri – Tampere, Finland

June 10th - Hard Rock House – Helsinki, Finland

June 17th - Dog's Home – Tampere, Finland

July 9th – BarBar Feast 2022 – Tallinn, Estonia (headlined by Korpiklaani)

July 23rd – Vahantarock 2022 – Ylöjärvi, Finland

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