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Royal Hunt - Show Me How To Live CD (album) cover


Royal Hunt


Progressive Metal

3.65 | 64 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Royal Hunt are a formulaic medieval operatic neoclassical metal band.

This is the type of band that would comfortably ride in to the sunset with Kamelot, Epica or even Manowar, at least in lyrical content, if not style. The formula is consistent throughout. A gentle opening, melodic verses, anthemic chorus repeating often and with multi tracks harmonies, dramatic violin sweeps, a lead break, and then more choruses to end. That's about it really and it could have really done with some breaks from this formula to give it some variety and hold interest.

The orchestrated synths provide massive symphonic blasts and the metal is always steady and distorted. It begins with battle clashes, horses braying and the sounds of war ushered in by majestic orchestration. 'One More Day' features the type of music that pervades throughout the album, clean male vocals, sounding a little like Bruce Dickinson, operatic choruses, synths to the wall, lead breaks, and metal distortion.

A phone call and a woman answering ushers in 'Another Man Down'. It is a quiet guitar and pulsing bass for a while. The vocals are softer and very well sung. It was nice to hear a female vocal soon after answering the male. There should be more of this. It is very much like Ayreon's duets or even Touchstone. The chorus is infectious and uplifting.

The formula continues with 'An Empty Shell' and it is a rocker with great synths and melodies. The violin strings serrate constantly on such songs and the classical feel is strong. Lead breaks come in with well executed dexterity. It is a dramatic soundscape generated, and one that is effective.

'Hard Rain's Coming' is the single beginning with lute or something and a quieter vocal. It builds to a catchy melody. It is quite a nice song, but very similar to everything else on the album so far. It is all beginning to sound the same, formulaic. You can sing along to this and I would say audiences do in a concert setting.

'Half Past Loneliness' has a steady traditional beat and some very good vocals. The violin sweeps are always present and the best part of it. The chorus is always bright and perky I am tiring of the same formula song after song.

'Show Me How To Live' is the mini epic of the album and I hoped for something pretty special being 10 minutes long. It begins with someone in the rain typing, at least that what it sounds like. The violins crank up, and then a melodic chorus, wait for it, here comes a chorus. It is slower and actually sounds better than other choruses on the album. After another verse and chorus the obligatory lead break begins. It is short as always and then back to the chorus. How this will fill 10 minutes is now the point of interest. Another chorus? Why not. How about another? No? okay the song now has a bridge, strange violins Psycho style. Love that sound, now we are motoring. Another bridge, the violins continue while a piano begins a melody, and this is already the highlight of the album. The sound builds to sustained key pads, very symphonic, then a choir of voices joins in the simple melody. A lead breaks launches into orbit, a nice sound and complements the soundscape. A change in key, a new time sig and we are off on a journey now and this is incredible music. It returns back to the key and melody of the beginning and we have another chorus, but it works to bookend the track. More of this and the album would be wonderful. It is a one off but worth checking out for this song alone.

'Angel's Gone' is a fast tempo majestic piece that ends the album with more formula, fast violins, a lead break intro, a verse, and don't bore us, get to the chorus. I liked the song and it is a great way to end this. So my opinion is this is a good album for those who love straight forward melodies and very anthemic medieval Viking bombastic metal. It is not really one for great riffs or lead breaks. It is however a fairly strong release and hopefully the band will improve on the next album.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |


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