2018Free Mothlight Monday!
Free Monday! Witch Mountain, Royal Thunder, Almuten
July8:30pm - $Free!
The musical partnership of Rob Wrong (guitars) and Nate Carson (drums) began in 1997 with the founding of Portland, Oregon’s first doom metal band. The first time High on Fire and Electric Wizard played in town, they shared the stage with Witch Mountain, and slept on Nate’s floor after the show. The first time YOB played in Portland was also supporting Witch Mountain. Same goes for Agalloch. Friends and peers all. Many bassists had spontaneously combusted over the years, but early 2015 brought Justin Brown to the fold. His low-end tone and tasteful swagger only solidified the band further. And then there’s vocalist Kayla Dixon.
Uta left big shoes to fill, and the tours over the last three years have cemented Kayla’s uncanny ability to sing, perform, and write with the band. It was key to Wrong and Carson not to rush back into the studio with a new group. Instead, a family unit began to develop during the 2015 tour with Enslaved and YOB. Then Glenn Danzig called, requesting Witch Mountain for support on hisBlackest of the Black tour. Longtime fan and supporter Phil Anselmo had a hand in there somewhere too...
After the Danzig tour, the band set to work writing a new album, interrupted once more by another full US tour with Saint Vitus and the Skull. By this time, Rob Wrong was also playing guitar with the Skull, holding down double duty with two of America’s most classic traditional doom bands, proving that his pyrotechnic hybrid of Hendrix and Iommi is a force to be reckoned with.
And here comes the fruit of these labors. A new band, fronted by a young woman who has been singing, acting, and dancing since she was a small child. Kayla Dixon brings her top tier abilities to a genre little known for such soulful vocal chops. NPR said of the song "Burn You Down:" "Kayla Dixon is a rarity in doom-metal, a singer with soul, dynamism, drama, control and poise. There's proficiency in her voice, but she knows that the blues — especially heavy-metal blues — rolls like thunder and wanders like a diva dancing around. She's got a gift for righteously nailing the perfect note."
Witch Mountain still maintains total artistic control. The band is self-managed, self-booked, and owns its entire back catalog.
We are proud to be twenty years in, having never peaked along the way.
In 2007, ROYAL THUNDER self-released their debut EP and started touring with Jesse Stuber on drums. By 2010, Relapse Records took notice and signed the band, beginning with an official re-release of their self-titled EP then later releasing their 2012 full-length debut, CVI. Stuber left the band after CVI was complete, replaced by drummer Lee Smith. The band toured with Lee Smith and Josh Coleman (who also joined during the making of CVI on second guitar) for a few US tours. CVI was widely praised by critics, including Rolling Stone's David Fricke, who said that Weaver’s playing has “the meaty, base elements of early-Seventies British blues” and Metal Hammer Magazine, who stated, “through the powerhouse vocals of Mlny Parsonz and a refusal to keep their sound boxed, Royal Thunder look set to be the underground's next big breakout stars”. Other publications such as SPIN called the album "stunning" while Revolver Magazine described it as "essential" and The Guardian called the band "elegantly powerful," and compared them to prime Led Zeppelin.
Since current drummer Diprima joined in October 2012, the band have been heavily touring the world, including full North American and European Tours with Baroness as well as prominent US tours alongside Monster Magnet, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Pallbearer, Enslaved, Corrosion of Conformity, O'Brother and many more. The group have also played high-profile festivals including SXSW, Bonnaroo, Scion Rock Fest, Bragg Jam, Roadburn, and numerous others. In a gap in their heavy touring schedule in 2013, the band recorded CVI: A, a set of acoustic renditions of three songs from CVI. ROYAL THUNDER then entered the studio once more in January of 2014 to begin their sophomore LP, Crooked Doors which was once again recorded, produced, and engineered by Joey Jones of Aria Recording Studio, with whom the band has a long standing working and personal relationship. Crooked Doors was released worldwide in April of 2015 via Relapse Records and has been praised by dozens of high-profile publications including Stereogum, The Guardian, and NPR, the latter of which called the Atlanta band “a modern master of hard-rock.” Though they’ve been around for ten years, ROYAL THUNDER seem to have only just hit their stride – the future stands to be even more uproarious than the band’s exciting early development.