Ladies and gentlemen, let me I introduce to you: DC Cooper!!! After two great records in the year 1995 ROYAL HUNT were yet again at the start with a new album. It won’t be at all far-fetched and I think the fans of the band will agree with me, that the guys (I cannot call them Danes anymore cause DC is coming from the US) around Andre Andersen have created something really special. Two years after their second release they unveil a new album with even better sound, better songs and an outstanding vocalist.
From the first tunes of the opener “Last Goodbye” on we realize that the style of the band has not changed. Even though the style did not change, the class of the tracks is undeniable very high and this record sets an even higher standard. They still pursue the path they walked on earlier, on their first two recordings, that is they are still praising melody above all. But still a certain development is to be sensed: the songs are even better, the production and the sound are really top-notch. They haven’t given up the Hard Rock influences clearly audible on the former recordings, but have integrated them perfectly in the new songs.
“1348” has a calmer approach and starts with these really wonderful choir parts and then the voice of DC, which encloses a lot of emotion and power. The keyboard of Andre Andersen is again the main attraction and he really creates something special. But all the musicians on this record are praiseworthy, because only this way you can explain how they performed such miracles. Even with faster and more energetic songs like “Makin’ A Mess” everything stays on a high level, the vocal performance still works its charms and the instruments just sparkle.
The song “Far Away” has already seen the light of day one year earlier on an EP, as a taster for the up-coming record. It is a really divine ballad, which comes to prove that there is no lack of variety on this album. The majestic and epic aura of the song is conjured up by bombastic keyboard tones and equally sublime choir and guitar parts. Every single track on this record has a face of its own and there is no chance you will get bored, only if you don’t like this kind of music, but then you must have stopped after the first track. Cause people who don’t like this style might say that it is boring and without structure, but if one cherishes divine melodies, he should not let this album pass by unheard. At the end of the record we also have an acoustic version of this amazing song. Just the perfect ending for an equally majestic record.
The standard is the same all along the whole album and it will rise to meet all expectations indeed, no matter if you listen to the epic “Stay Down” or the melancholic (yet full of energy) “Time”, they mostly convince you after the first time. I would not know which bands I should compare ROYAL HUNT with, because they really have their own character and their very own sound. It is monumental Melodic Metal, which definitely must be heard by all fans of melodic tunes! Enjoy!
(Online December 5, 2006)