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ROYAL HUNT

Progressive Metal • Denmark


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Royal Hunt picture
Royal Hunt biography
Founded in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1989 - Still active as of 2019

The name Royal Hunt appeared for the first time in 1989; a brainchild of André Andersen (main songwriter in the band) this outfit was created in order to combine basic values of Classic Rock with progressive, current musical elements. Today, after selling around 1.7 million albums and touring the world numerous times, the band's still going strong. here's the story:

After countless local club tours the band secured their first record deal with Teichiku Records, Japan (Panasonic branch), a management deal with Majestic Entertainment (USA) and a world wide publishing agreement with Warner Chappell.
Debut album - "Land of Broken Hearts" came out in 1991 and sold 35 000 copies in Japan alone; soon it's been out in USA (through Rondell Records), where it created a buzz through a net of college radio stations.
An instrumental piece from the album - "Martial Arts" - was picked as a theme tune by Japanese Wrestling Federation and still is the best selling "sports single" in the country (passed 150 000 copies).

Another tour followed bringing the band to Japan as well, where some unplugged performances created a demand for an "exclusive" release - "The Maxi Single" (1992), which contained 4 unplugged versions of songs from the debut album and two new tracks.

The follow up album - "Clown in the Mirror" - recorded in Denmark and mixed at House Of Music, NY and mastered by legendary George Marino at Sterling, NY - were released in 1993 by the abovementioned labels and - selling beyond 60 000 units - brought the band on the road again, only this time including a two months tour across USA. besides Europe and Japan.

Right after the tour the band's got their first "hit", releasing an EP containing 4 live tracks and a new song - "Far Away" (1995) - which went on top of Japanese rock charts and stayed there for a while, pushing the sells figures up to 70 000 units. a longer promo tour brought the band to the SE Asia and most of the Northern Europe.

Next studio album - "Moving Target" (1995), recorded/mixed at Medley Studio (DK) with Lars Overgaard behind the desk - was the first one to be released world wide (Royal Hunt has finally inked the deal with Long Island Records in Europe) and paved the way to a 72-dates world tour, selling around 120 000 copies.
Various rock publications throughout the world honoured Royal Hunt as "the best live band of the year" as...
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ROYAL HUNT discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ROYAL HUNT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.34 | 49 ratings
Land Of Broken Hearts
1992
3.38 | 51 ratings
Clown In The Mirror
1994
3.96 | 89 ratings
Moving Target
1995
4.21 | 162 ratings
Paradox
1997
3.49 | 68 ratings
Fear
1999
3.72 | 70 ratings
The Mission
2001
3.02 | 51 ratings
Eyewitness
2003
3.24 | 55 ratings
Paper Blood
2005
3.71 | 56 ratings
Collision Course - Paradox II
2008
3.51 | 48 ratings
X
2010
3.63 | 68 ratings
Show Me How To Live
2011
3.76 | 50 ratings
A Life To Die For
2013
3.51 | 37 ratings
Devil's Dozen
2015
3.11 | 19 ratings
Cast In Stone
2018
4.21 | 14 ratings
Dystopia
2020

ROYAL HUNT Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.60 | 25 ratings
Live 1996
1996
4.11 | 8 ratings
Paradox - Closing the Chapter
1998
4.11 | 10 ratings
Double Live In Japan
1999
3.82 | 17 ratings
Royal Hunt 2006
2006
4.25 | 4 ratings
Cargo
2016

ROYAL HUNT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.76 | 14 ratings
1996
1996
5.00 | 6 ratings
Future's Coming from the Past - Live in Japan 1996/98
2011

ROYAL HUNT Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 4 ratings
The First 4 Chapters... And More
1998
3.00 | 7 ratings
Heart of the City
2012
1.47 | 6 ratings
20th Anniversary - Special Edition (3CD+DVD)
2012

ROYAL HUNT Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 5 ratings
The Maxi EP
1993
3.75 | 4 ratings
Far Away
1995
3.80 | 5 ratings
Message to God
1997
3.50 | 10 ratings
Intervention
2000
3.61 | 23 ratings
The Watchers
2001
4.00 | 5 ratings
Hard Rain's Coming
2011

ROYAL HUNT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Watchers by ROYAL HUNT album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2001
3.61 | 23 ratings

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The Watchers
Royal Hunt Progressive Metal

Review by lukretio

3 stars Dubbed "the longest EP in history" (at nearly 70 minutes of length), The Watchers is an EP released by Danish melodic prog metallers Royal Hunt to accompany the release of their 6th full-length album The Mission. The EP contains one new track that was not included on The Mission but is part of the same concept (a musical soundtrack for the book "The Martian Chronicles" by Ray Bradbury about the colonization of Mars by Americans who flee the troubled, war-ridden Planet Earth). The EP also contains four live tracks and four re-recordings of songs taken from the band's earlier albums. Seven of these eight songs are particularly interesting because they feature for the first time new singer John West who had joined the band only two years prior, following the departure of the band's previous, much beloved singer DC Cooper.

The previously unreleased track, "Intervention", appears on the EP in two versions (a full version and a radio-edit version). The full version is a great, 14-minute epic, proggy track that in my opinion is almost better than any of the songs that were actually included on The Mission album. The track moves through different, recurring parts, some of which instrumental while others feature the great John West at the mic. His singing here, as on The Mission, is impeccable: warm, soulful but powerful and epic when needed. The song features a very nice chorus that reminds me of the Paradox album, partly because of its lyrics describing an imaginary dialogue with God. The whole song is actually more in the spirit of the music the band released on Moving Target/Paradox (symphonic, mid-tempo, classically-inspired prog rock/metal) than the more metallic and fast-tempo songs included on The Mission. This perhaps explains why "Intervention" was left out of the full-length release since, sonically, it does not match the rest of the tracks of that album very well. The song also sounds better produced than the material released on The Mission, whose sound I found a bit too compressed, thin and plasticky. The drum sound in particular is much improved as it feels less artificial and processed than the sound on The Mission album (drummer Allan Sřrensen is credited a playing on the EP, while he did not appear on the full-length album). Overall, this is an awesome track that alone is worth the price of the EP.

The other tracks are live or re-recorded versions of songs from earlier albums, mostly Paradox, Clown in the Mirror and Land of Broken Hearts. The most interesting aspect of these tracks, as I mentioned earlier, is that these are among the first recordings of these songs with John West behind the mic. West is an amazing singer, there's no doubt about it. However, his voice is quite special - warm, bluesy, and soulful - and it truly shines when the music gives him space to breathe and he can explore the space between the notes. Some of these earlier songs have been written for a different type of vocalist, like DC Cooper, whose performance is much tighter and more sober. The same goes for the earlier songs written for the band's original singer Henrik Brockmann who sang on Royal Hunt's first two albums. This is to say that, although it is interesting to listen to John West performing tracks taken from the band's first four albums, the outcome is not as amazing as one would have perhaps expected. Especially on the live versions of "Flight" (from Land of Broken Hearts) and "Message to God" (from Paradox), West sounds a bit uncomfortable and out of place. He lacks the grit that Brockmann put in his performance and the tightness of DC Cooper. He does better on "Epilogue" (from Clown in the Mirror) that is indeed a more spacious song that is more apt to West's expressive, modulated vocals. The same applies to the studio re-recordings, where West appears more in his element on soulful tracks like "Clown in the Mirror" than "One by One" (from Land of Broken Hearts).

Despite this, The Watchers remains a nearly-essential release if you are a Royal Hunt fan. The unreleased track left off The Mission is worth alone the purchase of the EP, being a song that is probably superior to all the material released on that full-length album. The live and re-recorded tracks are interesting because of the presence of the new singer John West and more generally because they contain some of the most beautiful tracks the band has ever written ("Message to God", "Epilogue", "Clown in the Mirror", "Legion of the Damned").

[Originally posted on www.metal-archives.com]

 The Mission by ROYAL HUNT album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.72 | 70 ratings

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The Mission
Royal Hunt Progressive Metal

Review by lukretio

3 stars The Mission is the ambitious 6th full-length album by Danish melodic prog metallers Royal Hunt. Based on the book "The Martian Chronicles" by Ray Bradbury, The Mission is a conceptual piece of work consisting of 13 interconnected tracks, each revisiting a chapter in Bradbury's book about the colonization of Mars by Americans who flee the troubled, war-ridden Planet Earth. Of these 13 tracks, five are actually short interludes (mostly instrumental), so there are only seven "proper" tracks on the album. Some may feel this falls a bit on the short side of what a full-length should be, but I do not mind as the alternation between shorter and longer tracks actually works well in terms of the storytelling the concept album sets out to do.

Musically, the album follows in the footsteps of previous Royal Hunt's releases, albeit with a few surprises and tweaks to their trademark sound. The songs are still firmly rooted in the classically-inspired blend of melodic progressive metal the band has been playing since their beginnings. The classical music influences are most evident in the song structures and in the way the bass, drums, guitars and keyboards play contrapuntal melodies and rhythms that bring to mind the way instruments are used in a typical classical orchestra. The progressive elements lie more in the contamination of influences (classical music, metal, hard rock) and in the ambition of the concept than in the mere display of technical wizardry (though in each song there is ample space for dazzling guitar and keyboard solos by Andre Andersen and Jacob Kjaer). As in all Royal Hunt's releases, The Mission retains a strong focus on the vocals, which are the "instrument" of choice for carrying the main melody of the songs. On The Mission, John West makes his second appearance with the band after his debut on Fear. John has a splendid voice, deep and soulful but at the same time powerful and with incredible range. On The Mission, his performance is very strong, especially on the most melodic tracks like the ballad "Days of No Trust".

However, The Mission also shows some elements of progression relative to the typical Royal Hunt's sound. Frist, at various places Andre Andersen experiments with a swathe of futuristic sounds on his keyboards that are unusual for his style and refreshing, and sit well with the sci-fi theme of the album. The way the backing vocals are processed (very compressed, almost alien-sounding) also keeps in line with the concept. The drums also sound quite plasticky and processed. This may be again intended, to give a more futuristic feel to the music, or the result of the fact that the band actually used sampled drums on the album, this is not clear to me (drummer Allan Sřrensen quit the band just before the recordings of the album, two guest drummers are mentioned in the album credits list, Kim Johanneson and Kenneth Olsen, but I am not convinced they actually played on the record). Either way, the drum sound is not fantastic on this album and, more generally, the album sounds a bit too compressed and thin, especially by today's (2021) standards.

Another difference is that The Mission features more muscular, hard-hitting and fast-tempo songs relative to a Royal Hunt's typical album. In fact, The Mission may be the most "metal" record the band has released up to this point in their career. Tracks like "World Wide War" or "Total Recall" would not sit out of place in a progressive/power metal album, actually. Unfortunately, I feel that, with this shift towards more metallic musical territories, Royal Hunt lose a bit of the "magic" that one can instead find on their more symphonic rock oriented albums like Clown in the Mirror, Moving Target or Paradox. Another problem I have with The Mission is that the tracks tend to be a little bit too homogeneous, there is not much variation across the seven longer tracks of the album ("Days of No Trust" is probably the track that stands out the most because it represents a change of pace and style compared to the other six). On the positive side, this again sits well with the interconnected, concept-based nature of the tracks. But, on the other hand, this uniformity makes The Mission an album that is a tad less adventurous and exciting to listen to.

Overall, for these reasons, The Mission is not my favourite Royal Hunt's record. It is nevertheless a strong album by a band that at the time was at the apex of their creative powers, and remains today one of the finest in the band's catalogue.

[Originally posted on www.metal-archives.com]

 Paradox by ROYAL HUNT album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.21 | 162 ratings

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Paradox
Royal Hunt Progressive Metal

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Magna Carta madness continues!

Thru the catalog, it's always a joy to discover something fresh, like a new band. Because of some obscure fate, I never heard of Royal Hunt before. Hold on, there's some impressive facts here: how many albums did they sell? Almost 2 millions?! And the keyboardist claims to have Royal Familiy descendance?! I wasn't sure if I had to laugh or be impressed. Well, the music got me impressed!

The concept of a religion arriving in a foreign and shatter the universe of the poor Primitives is great. The little speeches the First Nations (after River of Pain) saying they will go to their villages and hurt their people is still relevant. It's mind blowing on how history's repeating over and over again.

Setting aside the clever concept, the execution is superior. I mean, if you want to make decent metal, you have to walk the walk with your instrument. And they do. Oh boy, they do! What strikes me the most is the blue blood keyboard player's chops, they're all over the place with satisfying orchestration and mouth watering solos. Also I cannot pass the opportunity to praise the capacities of D.C. Cooper as a singer. He's the man. He's the Ubermensch...and he needs a shirt. Please, give this poor beggar a few coins to buy a t-shirt or something.

I'm frankly happy to have found such a cast of entertaining performers. The album is not 'aggressive' (although sporting the metal tag) but abound in catchy melodies that sticks in your head for days. It's an extremely catchy record filled to the brim and why it's not a classic is beyond me. In 1997, I was knee-deep into Britpop, no wonder this badboy slipped my attention. I also should've dig deeper to find this gem instead of trying to like Falling Into Infinity, the snooze fest Dream Theater gave us during that period.

Give this record a chance, it's just too good. Now that's what I call a majestic album!!

 Paradox by ROYAL HUNT album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.21 | 162 ratings

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Paradox
Royal Hunt Progressive Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Royal Hunt's paradox finds the prog metal pioneers on fine form, with the band at points capturing the stateliness and majesty of the most refined classical music in a metal context. Their house style of prog metal is based less on technicality than the likes of Dream Theater, and includes some power metal influences here and there, but somehow they avoid taking things in a cheesy direction but maintain an appropriately rich and evocative tone for the deep subject matter they attempt to tackle. Keyboardist Andre Andersen is the star player, with an orchestral touch to his keyboards which really brings the album's sound together.
 1996 by ROYAL HUNT album cover DVD/Video, 1996
4.76 | 14 ratings

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1996
Royal Hunt Progressive Metal

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Oh my, I remember buying this VHS at the end of 1997, right after I got to know this fantastic multinational band. It had around three hours of running time: the entire 2 hour concert, plus backstage scenes, interviews, the video for Wasted Time, the making up of that video and other touring shots. It was recorded during their Moving Target tour and features most of the songs from that album, plus a lot of earlier stuff More than anything else this video shows that the band was very fortunate to have chosen american singer D. C. Cooper to replace the original danish frontman Henrik Brockman. Because if Brockman was very good, then Cooper was simply brilliant. Not only he had a better, more versatile voice, but he was also a great stage performer, helding the audience at the palm of his hand throughout the show.

Certainly the rest of the band was not far behind. Indeed I was really amazed not only by their incredible skill and professionalism, but also for their energy and moving around. And, for the icing on the cake, the two backing singers provide for Cooper many terrific three part harmony singing that really set them apart (no, it was not country-ish, but very unique). Put it together with a strong set list and you have one of the best live performances I´ve seen in my life. Although Cooper was really a newcomer, it is very clear that the band was cooking by the time they recorded this concert. So it is not surprising that they recorded their best album ever, Paradox, right after this tour (unfortunately without drummer Kenneth Olsen, who quit before the recordings started). I really enjoyed Andre Andersen figure surrounded by keyboards in a pose that is striking similar to that one of Rick Wakeman. But sound-wise Andersen has a unique style of songwriting and playing.

Highlights? The blistering rendition of Stranded, the symphonic progressiveness of 1348 and the powerful and inspired performance for Epilogue comes in mind as the best moments in an excellent show. The three songs played in the acoustic set are also a plus, the band proving they could make Age gone Wild sound much more superior than any other version they had made of this tune. Even a lesser song like Time shines after they provide a new vocal intro. There are some solo moments, but they are all short ones and unbelievably, the weaker is Jacob Kjaer´s guitar solo (not a bad one, though). Bass and drums solos are linked together in a very nice duel that is really more interesting than those boring ones we have all seen too much.

In recent years I´ve seen this concert appear as a DVD bootleg, unfortunately without all the extras. I really hope they will release a complete, remastered, version of this outstanding release. It showed the world one of the most original and interesting bands to surface in the 1990s. Their mixture of melodic hard rock, symphonic prog and traditional heavy metal, plus those vocal harmonies is something never heard of, even if their music is quite accessible. Royal Hunt is really one of a kind

Rating: something between 4.5 and 5 stars. Highly recommended!

 A Life To Die For by ROYAL HUNT album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.76 | 50 ratings

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A Life To Die For
Royal Hunt Progressive Metal

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Danish band ROYAL HUNT have been a going concern for more than a quarter of a century, and as such merits a description as a veteran band at this point. They have twelve studio albums to their name, with a thirteenth just about to hit the market. "A Life to Die For" is their twelfth studio album, and was released through Italian label Frontier Music in 2013.

Royal Hunt is a band that have always been described as residing somewhere within the metal spectrum, with power metal, progressive metal and symphonic metal the most common descriptions given. The albums I've come across earlier have, arguably, been of a more progressive metal vein, but in the case of this 2013 production I'd say that the greater majority of the compositions have the strongest ties to the symphonic metal genre, with power metal as the main undercurrent.

As one would expect from a veteran act, this is a production that is well made and well produced, the technical aspects of this album have a high standard with impeccable quality. While perhaps not all that important, these aspects of a production does elevate the material quite a bit, the difference between a poor and a pleasant or a pleasant and a good end listener experience can often be tracked down to this, even if mix and production will always be coating and gloss that adds a final sheen. In this case these are important aspects of the album though, and not only due to the quality of the compositions as such, but due to the richly layered arrangements employed throughout that demands a detailed attention to mix and balance.

The material here basically revolved around digital orchestration and lead vocals. Royal Hunt have a strong lead vocalist in D. C. Cooper, and they make sure that his qualities are emphasized throughout. The rich orchestration courtesy of keyboardist André Andersen is still the main dominating trait though, his keyboard arrangements a key aspect of all compositions throughout.

The songs actually appears to revolve a bit too much around the vocals and keyboards as I experience it though, as the bass, drums and guitars are toned down quite a bit and with little room for other instrument details to add subtler details or depth to the songs as they unfold. Combined with a smooth production and a certain tendency to singalong chorus sections with more of an AOR orientation the end result is, at least for me, just too smooth for me at times. Pleasant and well made, but lacking that slight edge that elevates the total experience to a higher place. Details and depth are the key words I guess, as well as a lack of marked contrasts.

But when the blend does get a few additional details added in, the end result does become all the more striking. The dramatic impact surges that is a mainstay feature on opening track Hell Comes Down From Heaven a good example of that, as are the richer orchestrated movements and stronger emphasis on quirkier instrument details on concluding and title track A Life to Die For. Both of those creations represent the 2013 edition of Royal Hunt at their best in my opinion, and should be regarded as the signal tracks on this CD as far as I'm concerned.

At the end of the day I find "A Life to Die For" to be a somewhat uneven production, always smooth and elegant, but for my personal taste somewhat lacking in the details and sophistication department for this album to come across as a vital and vibrant production. Those with a taste for progressive rock and metal exclusively may want to approach this one with a bit of caution due to that, but if you have a strong affection for symphonic metal, and a particular taste for well produced, orchestration dominated specimens of that kind in particular, then this CD can be regarded as a fairly safe purchase option for your musical needs.

 A Life To Die For by ROYAL HUNT album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.76 | 50 ratings

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A Life To Die For
Royal Hunt Progressive Metal

Review by J-Man
Prog Reviewer

3 stars DC Cooper's return to Royal Hunt for the release of 2011's Show Me How to Live reignited interest in this Danish progressive metal band for many listeners, and with 2013's A Life to Die For, that interest is likely to remain ignited. Royal Hunt's twelfth album doesn't deviate much from their established blend of neo-classical power metal, melodic hard rock, and progressive metal, but the songwriting here is strong enough to make for a solid listen from start to finish.

Although the title track and "Hell Comes Down From Heaven" easily stand out as highlights (I've always found that Royal Hunt's best compositions tend to be their longest), the rest of A Life to Die For is well-written and well-played. Keyboardist André Andersen's detailed symphonic arrangements are quite impressive, and DC Cooper's vocal performance demonstrates why he is such a fan favorite when it comes to melodic progressive metal.

Royal Hunt's bombastic and symphonic approach to progressive metal doesn't usually connect with me on the same level that bands like Fates Warning and Dream Theater do, but there's no doubt that these Danes are really good at playing the music that they play. Fans of Royal Hunt will definitely want to check out A Life to Die For, and this isn't a bad place for newcomers to start their journey either.

 Show Me How To Live by ROYAL HUNT album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.63 | 68 ratings

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Show Me How To Live
Royal Hunt Progressive Metal

Review by Progrussia

4 stars I was so surprised by appearance of Royal Hunt in the Progarchives "hot list" (it, after all, is a retro metal band, and the worst kind of retro - cheesy 80s style), so decided to chip in. Havent got my hands on the new one yet, this is about the one from 2011.

Royal Hunt play highly orchestrated (the band leader, and only constant presence, is the keyboardist) power metal, with a couple of concept albums and epics that warrants its inclusion here. Actually it's amazing they are still around and haven't lost creative spark. Now, they do release weak albums for time to time, making think that they will be forever relegated now to the nostalgic tour circuit, but then BOOM! another album that is so strong. Show Me How To Live is one of such redeeming albums. Save for the title song maybe, it's not really prog, but just so energetic and infectious that you should jump up and start air-guitaring immediately, even though its more about the synths and vocals than the guitars. You'd think that for a cheesy metal band the concluding track titled Angel's Gone would be a wimpy ballad. Nope. Another boisterous rocker.

 Paradox by ROYAL HUNT album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.21 | 162 ratings

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Paradox
Royal Hunt Progressive Metal

Review by progbethyname

5 stars ROYAL HUNT CREATE AN EXCEPTIONAL CONCEPT ALBUM FULL OF INTRIGUE AND WONDERMENT. 

As I listened to Royal Hunt's Paradox album I found myself shaking my head in disbelief due to just how incredible the storyline is and how the storyline was expressed musically. Royal Hunt have created an album that has a fusing of many different genres of prog rock, and it should be noted that Paradox is not just progressive Metal album strictly. I found myself hearing traces of folk/Art Rock, Neo and even some Crossover prog in this album. Paradox really is a wonderful blend of musical styles, but it does take to being more of a progressive Metal album than anything else. It's just nice to have  and hear the variety though. ;)

As for the concept of Paradox's storyline a lot of it is open to one's own interpretation, but here is what I gathered from it myself. 

A deeply religious man, who is 30 years of age has just killed a King of great ruling in his country and has escaped and seeked refuge in an old church on very dark and rainy night (this adds to the atmosphere) to escape further judgment and punishment for his crimes. Turns out, The King was a very bad ruler and was a man who was deeply oppressing the people of where this man (the Kingslayer) lived, which I think is 18th century England. Meanwhile The Kingslayer, who can't live with the guilt feels that he has mortally sinned and seeks answers and forgiveness from god due him killing the King of his country. 

What I found most fascinating is by how The Kingslayer goes through a whole ontological argument with God by justifying his actions at first (Silent Scream, Tearing down the World) and then later succumbing full tilt to the guilt and punishment he thinks he'll receive ( Time Will Tell, It's Over, Long Way Home.) All in all, it's a very clear story that examines the pitfalls of religion and the philosophical paradox where by can violence be a justifiable action to protect the one's you love while restoring peace and order for the greater good of humanity under the eyes of God? And will their still be a place in God's kingdom of Heaven if one does take another's life?  A Paradox indeed. ;) Religion can really twist up an individual if you ask me. 'Judas, come take me now!' as were the final words of our protagonist in this story. 

Furthermore, speaking from a musical point of view on The Paradox album I must say, that it is just as every bit as brilliant and compelling as the concept (storyline itself.) I absolutely love D.C Cooper's vocals and keyboards, especially on the track 'Silent Scream' where vocally you can just feel the emotion of D.C's Kingslayer character hauling off on God with such disdain and remorse all at the same time! A lovely point of entry to showcase D.C Cooper's incredible vocal abilities where he does remind me so much of the likes of Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) and Mathias Blad (Falconer) vocal styles/abilities. A very incredible combination if you ask me. Not to mention, Andre Andersen's keyboards are very versatile by how they sound like old and new styles of the Neo Prog genre and this is largely portrayed on tracks, Time Will Tell and Silent Scream. There is even some flute/mellotron notes as well. Very lovely for the listener. Also, I adore the bass playing by Steen Mogensen on River of Pain. The Bass just thumps so beautifully in your ear with a groove like feel to it. As for the Guitar it is a shared duty from creator/song Writer/Keyboardist Andre Anderson who is by far the leader of the group, and Jacob Kjaer. The Guitar work is sensational from both these players. You get killer riffs, epic solos and some soft acoustic guitar playing as well. It's an absolute treat and the solo on Time Will Tell at around the 2:50min mark is absolutely fantastic including the Keyboard/Synth solo that follows it up by Andersen. Lastly, the drums are very much in vein of a typical Prog Metal style by Allan Sorensen, where by playing fast, furious and very technical are the main proponents of style. Not much new there for me, but sounds awesome none the less!

Ergo, what I can say with all my heart is that Paradox is a masterpiece of an album. It makes you think based on the merits of its incredible storyline, and of course the musicianship is incredibly strong where by it poses itself to be a very accessible listen based on the catchy, radio friendly choruses and the wisps of soft-melodic keyboards and guitars as well on some songs.   To me, Paradox is an album that has absolutely everything and it is very well composed and written by Mr. Andersen himself. It even has some deeply melodic Choir orchestrations and strings added to some of the songs. Why ask for more? Backing vocals and strings in Prog Metal excite me very much and it is not commonly done. 

 It is also worth mentioning that the Paradox album comes with an onslaught of bonus tracks as well, which are utterly brilliant. You get to hear superb Radio Edit versions of Time Will Tell, Message To God and my favourite Silent Scream. And thats not all, your ears will be delighted with a very accessible and catchy version of the Awakening called 'Martial Arts' which the 1:49min track literally does Kung-foo kicks in your ears due to the blinding speed it's played at. Its just a fun and simple instrumental. Also, the Most Radio friendly song,'Restless' (3:20min) which actually fits into the storyline of the Paradox album! Restless is a song that sounds very much like an 80's pop song, but I actually really love it. Love when Cooper sings the lyrics 'who will remember me whhhheeeen I aaaam gone!' beautiful stuff and I love the Crossover Prog style they bring with this particular song. 

In Conclusion, I cannot think of a better album to recommend to someone who really is searching for versatilely and diversity in a progressive metal album, which I as said does carry an onslaught of other Prog genres as well. Paradox easily fits the Masterpiece rating entitlement and I will be giving this album many more listens for many more years to come. I can only hope Paradox LI will be just as good, but that will be a tough feat to top. 

5 very progacious devil horns out 5. Easily.  

 20th Anniversary - Special Edition (3CD+DVD) by ROYAL HUNT album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2012
1.47 | 6 ratings

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20th Anniversary - Special Edition (3CD+DVD)
Royal Hunt Progressive Metal

Review by irregardlessly

1 stars I'll try to keep this short. I love Royal Hunt. They are one of my favorite bands. While not overly prog, I just love their neoclassical sound. This collection was a disappointment for me.

SONG SELECTION: Not stellar, but OK.

SOUND EDITING: OK this is bad. It sounds like if you just took the playlist of different songs from different albums on Itunes and burned to a CD. Since the songs on their original albums often ran over into their neighbors, the song changes are very abrupt. Very poorly done. The songs needed to be faded out, cut at different places, cross faded, or SOMETHING.

BONUS CD: Interesting and worthwhile if you are a completionist.

DVD: For me this is forgettable. I believe all of the videos on here are available elsewhere in more complete form.

PACKAGING: This is the real shame. I feel like this was put forward as a Special Edition / Premium product. The outer packaging is a long box like a DVD would come in. When you open that up you get one lousy insert card with a few pictures on it. There is no info about the band, the songs, the source albums, the band, etc. If this was really a 20 year retrospective they could have done a lot more with the "pack ins".

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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