Album Reviews

Royal Blood

Back to the Water Below

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Royal Blood have been one of the biggest success stories for new rock bands over the past decade. All three of their albums thus far have reached the coveted number one spot and the band have elevated themselves to arena and festival headline status.

All of this creates a natural pressure on the band to keep delivering consistently high standards, and the time has arrived to see whether the band can achieve an incredible quadruple of number one albums.

‘Back to the Water Below’ sees the band handling production fully themselves for the first time having previously worked alongside the likes of Josh Homme and Tom Dalgety. The positives of such a move of course include the unadulterated freedom, but the double-edged sword is that there is nobody to offer assurance and quality control.

After all the bells and whistles that accompanied predecessor ‘Typhoons’, the album title this time around may also refer to the back to basics approach taken by the duo. From opener ‘Mountains At Midnight’ onwards it’s evidently clear that the band have gone back to their roots to use another tired cliché.

Royal Blood – ‘Mountains At Midnight’

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That’s not to say that they haven’t added plenty of polish to the finished product but that there is a slower more methodical sonic style on this collection. That Royal Blood DNA is evident throughout but the album is much more melancholic than those that came before.

This does in many ways feel the least hyped of all of the bands albums and the limited pre-release campaign feeds into that. It feels like messrs Kerr and Thatcher want to let the music do the talking on this record, and they are clearly talented enough to do so.

Whilst this may be a completely different album compared to any of their three previous efforts, Royal Blood have still created something distinctly Royal Blood. The band have seen their fair share of criticism in the past both somehow for failing to evolve and for changing too much! On ‘Back to the Water Below’, the band merge everything they’ve done before and evolve into something new.

So, while musically this record is a fantastic genesis of the their style, commercially it will be interesting to see if this is an album that can secure that illustrious fourth consecutive number one?

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Read our review of Royal Blood live in London