A great deal of potential looms in from this debut six-track EP from power, progressive and punk rockers Royal Orphan. The record comes in with an amazing sense of depth and clarity, with influences ranging from Iron Maiden and Helloween to Blue Oyster Cult and Thin Lizzy. Brendan’s vocal approach is amazing, with his highs intoxicating enough to transport the listener into a world crafted by top-notch progressive elements that almost threaten to drown out everything else. That’s not a problem for me though, as prog seems to be the backbone for this impressive act. Opener “In Requiem” comes in mightily with a high production value that feels crisp and ultimately melodic, aside from some slight thrashy moments which are a bit dirty. Yet these dirty bits make the cleaner sections shine even brighter, adding real character to the piece. “Lost In Time” might have a few slip-ups in the beginning, though it really picks up in the chorus. The song incorporates some brilliant sections in instrumentalism, even though once again I’m hearing just a few sections where I’m not sure if an error was made in the playing, or they were intended to sound slightly off. “Lights, Camera, Nothing” isn’t the strongest here, but it does manage to leave a slight mark. “Citizens Of Nowhereville” is a bit of a ballad, yet makes me think a little bit of early Dream Theater. There’s also a bit of Skyclad that I’m picking up here, which is completely unexpected. “Fondest Wish” is by far my favorite cut here though, sounding a bit like ocean water as it rolls into a wonderful chorus that actually managed to get stuck in my head. Make no mistake, this is the one where everything works in tandem, making the performance perfect. The disc ends with “Bought and Sold” a punk-inspired number which seems to mix in just a tad of Rush where I certainly wouldn’t have expected it. Yet another strong cut, though right near the end where you would hardly expect it.
Although Royal Orphan still have a little bit of fine-tuning ahead of them, this EP is good enough for a label to take notice. I’m quite sure that after the release of their first full-length debut, even more interest will spark in the band and I’m pretty sure that something great could become of this project as a whole in the future. Give it a listen at the link below.
(6 Tracks, 26:00)
Purchase HERE (Bandcamp)