Royal Hunt are back after their last album ‘X’ seemed to disappear without trace but now they are back on Frontiers for their new album. Since the last album gone too are vocalist Mark Boals and guitarist Marcus Jiddell, with vocalist DC Cooper returning (he was the band’s vocalist in the mid-90’s) and new guitarist Jonas Larsen.
Now for the majority of Riyal Hunt fans the return of DC Cooper is like Ozzy back in Black Sabbath or Slash returning to Guns ‘N’ Roses. I however, must be one of the few who really enjoyed the John West fronted albums! This album is a back to basics one after the disappointment of ‘X’. It is not a concept album and Andre Andesen’s keyboards set to ‘stun’ along with DC Cooper on fine vocal form. ‘An Empty Shell’ contains wondrous keyboard runs coupled with just the right amount of guitar.
A gentle harpsichord intro (not often you read that in a rock review) gives way to catchy ‘Hard rain’s Coming, a song chosen as the lead song of this album. The band’s use of layered choir backing vocals is used to good effect on this song. ‘Another Man Down’ brings in the band’s skill at creating a story set to music and again those keyboards are swirling all over the place creating a keyboard’s heaven.
Again the band shows they haven’t lost the skill of penning catchy melodic metal. Those seeking some OTT guitar solos may feel short changed on the album but then this band has never dues them as a foundation of their sound.
A returning key member doesn’t always mean a return to form, (just ask Megadeth) but in Royal Hunt’s case they are back on form. Now for some live dates and a juicy big concept album next time…
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Power Plays w/c 13 May (Mon-Fri)
WARM RAIN Here Comes The Rain Again (Rain Recordings)
DARWIN Cosmic Rays (indie)
MICHAEL THOMPSON BAND Love & Beyond (Frontiers)
MARQUIS DRIVE Shine On (indie)
YOUR LIFE & MINE Remind To Remember (indie)
EMERALD SUN What becomes Of You (indie)
Featured Albums w/c 13 May (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 JIM PETERIK WORLD STAGE Winds Of Change (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 WHITESNAKE Flesh & Blood (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 BUFORD POPE The Waiting Game (Unchained Records)
Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)
NEVER THE BRIDE Surprise (2005)
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