Royal Talons – self-titled EP

By Gruesome Greg

With all five songs on here hovering between 8-10 minutes long, can we really call this an EP? This Denver-based band follows the Windstein mantra of “Tune Low, Play Slow”—and believe me, these songs aren’t going anywhere fast!

The 10-minute opener “Shark Skull” plods along with some dirty, distorted riffing and vocals that kinda remind me of Buzzo, with a bit of Baroness thrown in for good measure. Still waiting on a time change, but one never comes, though we get a decent doomy riff about halfway through—accompanied by some annoying growls, mind you.

Nine-minute second track “The Scroll” starts off with some ominous reverbed riffing, sounding a little like OM, until a distorted wave comes crashing in, complete with some pissed-off sludge-metal vocals. It then adopts a similar pace to its predecessor. What, you were expecting some grindcore riffage, or something?

“Robot Cities” is half a minute longer than the previous tune, its swirling riffs and laid-back, meditative drawl again giving off faint hints of OM off the bat. This song sorta sucks you in with its hypnotic, oft-repeated riffing. I can dig it…

The last two tunes follow in similar fashion, “D-Day Spell” laying on the death-metal vocals a little thicker, though the riffs still flow like OM or Sleep, maybe a bit more towards the former. “Western Path” pounds away like the rest of ‘em, though without the growls. I dunno man, all the pieces are there, but I’m not really feeling it. These guys don’t bring anything new to the table, that’s for sure…

(Handshake Inc.)

Sean is the founder/publisher of; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.