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Royal Hunt - Collision Course - Paradox II CD (album) cover


Royal Hunt


Progressive Metal

3.71 | 59 ratings

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5 stars After the first listening of this long-awaited CD from Royal Hunt, I felt myself a little kid who heard his top 10 favorite tracks. From the first note to the last, this masterpiece can't be compared to any other group - the only thought comes into your head - it's Royal Hunt.

The album itself is a sequel to the band's all-time-classic album Paradox (1997) and all the tracks are musically and lyrically (this time the lyrics are oriented on the problem of Christian & Islam cultures collision and its consequences in today's world) linked together.

Principles of Paradox starts with a familiar sound of rain and acoustic guitar melody from Long Way Home that into a new piano & strings melody. A few moments later the new vocalist Mark Boals (ex-Malmsteen, Ring of Fire, The Codex) starts singing the first lines, which are kinda reflecting the whole conception. After a bit of singing, there's an instrumental part, the end of which begins The First Rock, a song, written in the classic RH style and that speeds it all up. Not too fast, very melodic and heavy. The end of track 2 passes into track 3 - Exit Wound, a mid-tempo symphonic hard rock song, very strong and dramatic, with lots of backing vocals by different guests (Ian Parry, Kenny Lübcke and Maria McTurk can be heard). And now prepare for the fastest song on the album - Divide and Reign, that begins with a theme from the original Paradox - It's Over. Actually I don't remember Royal Hunt to go that fast before, but I tell you, this song is a real heavy metal thing with, of course, symphonic melodic riffs and fills, progressive verses and solos with a little vocal solo part by Ian Parry. And it's also a headbanger's choice Smile! The only ballad on the album starts with an explosion and sound that bring you the warlike feel - High Noon at The Battlefield. This is also something new, a warm ballad with acoustic guitars, piano, Marcus Jidell's blues solo fills and Per Schelander's fretless bass solo in the beginning. Some parts of this song remind you of the songs Eye Witness and Legion of the Damned. You also can hear Henrik Brockmann and Doogie White on this song - they sing a few lines in the middle. It ends with the theme of the next song - The Clan, played on the piano, with an excerpt from European news, saying something negative about Islamic peoples. I would say that The Clan is a song written in the Fear album style, of course it's not the same as Lies or Faces of War, but it gives you that feeling of Royal Hunt in the 90s. I have to say that Blood in Blood out is my favorite track on the album. The beginning actually gave me a 80s soundtrack music feel Smile, but later it passes into melodic, powerful, symphonic - brilliant riffs, melodies and solos with a mix of oriental music in the bridges. Tears of The Sun starts with this album's guest singer, Michelle Raitzin's singing, followed by Mark Boals and then a riff in RH style. A great song indeed. The vocals, the neoclassical riffs, and powerful drumming from Allan Sorensen, that once again joined Royal Hunt as the official member, makes you love it! Hostile Breed begins with sounds of Islamic people praying that is followed by a mystic riff that starts the melodic'n'progressive song with changing tempos, choirs and music experiments! Chaos A.C. continues the song with a riffs from River of Pain and Exit Wound, a guitar solo and then - singing from Mark, Ian, Doogie and Kenny. The heavy part ends as original Paradox's song, Time will tell - a great surprise for the fans! And a bigger surprise will be when you hear the very end of this CD - so you better order your copy now and be the first to hear it! If you liked Paradox 1, then Collision Course is just for you!

In total, I think that this album is definitely one of the best that Royal Hunt has ever done. Drums and bass sound amazingly great, guitars and keyboards' sound is as always on the top as well as the vocals mixing/mastering. The composer, keyboardist and producer André Andersen has made another masterpiece. My rating is 94/100.

André Osokin /

A3000 | 5/5 |


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