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Royal Hunt - Moving Target CD (album) cover


Royal Hunt


Progressive Metal

3.95 | 95 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Squirrel
3 stars I bought this album after owning 'The Clown in the Mirror' for couple of months. Before listening 'Clown in the Mirror' I didn't know what to expect. I had not heard the band much. I wasn't disappointed (no expectattions, heh), but it wasn't that great either. I listened the album over and over and found something good. So I decided to buy this album. I was surprised; very good album. Very symphonic and strong classical influences. If I had to say what kind of music is this, I would say symphonic rock probably. Andre Andersen does good job. Well composed album, well produced, and well played. I like. I haven't given stars to each invidual track before, but I shall try.

The first track of the album is 'Last Goodbye'. I love the symphonic intro with some acoustic guitars, after that the rock strikes in, and little progging. Bit cheesy lyrics, but the verse is very catchy and good. It's funny, that is, I think Royal Hunt uses the same backing vocalists in every album. For at least in 'The Clown in the Mirror' and this one, 'Moving Target'. Don't know about the other ones. (I could check, but I'm too lazy for that) I love almost all the keyboard solos on the album. The one in this one is very good. Chorus of this song is very catchy, though repeated too many times. In the end there is this christian speech part, which I hate, as an atheist, but it doesn't bother much. I know, I am little contradictory. 4/5 stars.

The next song, '1348' kicks off as an disco song from the 70's. Calm verse and vocals. Then again nice progging, short track but very much nice little stuff. Then, suddenly, comes a good riff, and on top of that evolves one of the best keyboard solos I've heard in long time. The song finishes with good guitarring and keyboarding. Very good track. 4/ 5 stars.

The third song, 'Makin' a Mess' again begins with short symphonic keyboard intro. The verse is rolling with good, calm tempo, but still catchy. Fine chorus. Basic double pedal drumming. Very good keyboard and guitar solos. After those, peaceful part, which later develops into a bridge to chorus one last time. Good finish. Like the song, but not much as the others. If I don't have time to listen the whole album (which I usually do), I have to skip this track. 3.5/5 stars.

The next song, 'Far Away' is very nice emotianal and rocky ballad. Very nice intro and verse. Bit boring chorus though. Good backing vocals. I like the voice of D.C Cooper on this track. Then after hearing chorus for the second time, comes this bit of a metal riff and a short guitar solo followed by good keyboard solo. Very Royal Huntish. Or very Andersen. Then the bridge and chorus. Not very progressive, but ballads seldom are. 3/5 stars.

'Step by Step' is my favourite track in this album. Very good intro with short tribal drumming, and very rocky riffing. Exceedingly catchy verse and its guitarring. The chorus is very catchy too. Nice backing vocals on this one too. This song, as well as most of the track in the album, isn't really prog. The solo on this track is stunning. The track owns the basic structure, but somehow it doesn't bother me. The piano melody, which comes in the end with ambient noises is very good. 4/5 stars.

Next track is instrumental, 'Autograph' is very good piece of progressive (at times), symphonic rock with great keyboard playing. The song is very powerful and classical at first, but then changes into loose and calm part, which lasts for only about half minute. Then the same keyboards and finishing touch. Good track. 3.5/5 stars.

The seventh track is 'Stay Down', which begins with epic sound by keyboard and guitar. Mid tempo and many backing vocals on this one too. The calm part in this one is cool, but as in general, the song reminds too much of an combination of two earlier track, 'Far Away' and 'Makin' a Mess'. That is Royal Hunt's problem is that their songs remind each other too much. Should be much more diverse. Still, this one is decent track. 3/5 stars.

The next song, 'Give it up', begins with drumming and guitarring with ambient woman speech. Then comes keyboards and Cooper. Very catchy chorus and cool keybaording on it. Bit boring tempo, but nice keyboards after first chorus. Great keyboard solo and chorusing and guitar soloing in the end. The song fades away. 3/5 stars.

The final track, 'Time' concludes the album. Calm beginning, but then D.C starts screaming, and the song quickly evolves into powerful rock song with nice vocals. The name and the beginning gave the feelings into a ballad, but the song is kind of mixture of ballad (the bridge, for insance) and rock song. Good guitar solo and very good keyboard solo before the final repeats of chorus. Not very progressive. Good, epic outro by keyboards and guitar. 3/5

My album has couple of (six, with live songs) bonus track, but I rather focus on these tracks. All in all, the album left me little confused. What I like: Cooper's voice and singing; the strong classical influences; which brings liveliness into the music; the keyboards in general, everything about them. And Royal Hunt's problems: Lack of diversity, the songs remind too much of each other; they are progressive at times, but generally this album is not progressive piece of work. Though the question: "what is prog?" is so difficult to answer, and someone might say that this is prog, and I'm not saying that it would be wrong. We all have opinion about this issue and I've said mine. I can't say this album is bad because I like it, but I can't say it is good. It without fail is not excellent addition to any prog music collection or a masterpiece of anykind of music. It is good, but non- essential. I actually recommend this album to anyone, it could be a really nice surprise. 3/ 5 stars.

The Squirrel | 3/5 |


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