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Royal Hunt

Progressive Metal

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Royal Hunt Paradox album cover
4.21 | 175 ratings | 10 reviews | 36% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1997

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Awakening (1:39)
2. River Of Pain (7:14)
3. Tearing Down The World (5:32)
4. Message To God (6:41)
5. Long Way Home (5:54)
6. Time Will Tell (9:31)
7. Silent Scream (6:13)
8. It's Over (6:15)

Total time 48:59

Bonus tracks on 1997 US edition:
9. Martial Arts (1:49)
10. The Final Lullaby (4:01)

Bonus tracks on 1997 European edition:
9. Tearing Down The World (Radio Edit) (4:42)
10. Message To God (Radio Edit) (4:24)
11. Time Will Tell (Radio Edit) (4:12)
12. Silent Scream (Radio Edit) (5:36)
13. Martial Arts (1:49)
14. Restless (3:20)

Bonus CD from 1999 SE:
1. Ave Maria Guarani (Live) (3:48)
2. The Awakening (Live) (2:03)
3. River Of Pain (Live) (7:26)
4. Tearing Down The World (Live) (5:37)
5. Message To God (Live) (7:29)
6. Long Way Home (Live) (8:07)
7. Time Will Tell (Live) (10:48)
8. Silent Scream (Live) (6:35)
9. It's Over (Live) (7:40)

Total time 59:33

Line-up / Musicians

- D. C. Cooper / lead & backing vocals
- Jacob Kjaer / lead guitars
- André Andersen / keyboards, rhythm guitar, producer
- Steen Mogensen / bass

- Allan Sřrensen / drums
- Maria McTurk / backing vocals
- Lise Hansen / backing vocals
- Kenny Lübcke / backing vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Christina Laugesen and Govert Lund

CD Rondel Records ‎- TECW-25535 (1997, Japan)
CD Semaphore ‎- CD 50610-422 (1997, Europe) With 6 bonus tracks
CD Magna Carta ‎- MA-9017-2 (1997, US) With 2 bonus tracks
CD Steamhammer ‎- SPV 085-21122 CD1 (1999, Germany)
2xCD Steamhammer ‎- SPV 085-21122 (1999, Germany) Bonus CD including "Closing The Chapter" Live recording from Akasaka Blitz, Tokyo, Japan 06.10.1997

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy ROYAL HUNT Paradox Music

ROYAL HUNT Paradox ratings distribution

(175 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(36%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)

ROYAL HUNT Paradox reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This album and "Moving Target" represent my first introduction to the band sometime in 2000, I think. It really blew me the first time I listened to it at the record shop in Jakarta. This might not be categorized under progressive music but I like it very much. It's a blend of pop-rock, metal, symphonic and neo-classical music. One thing for sure, all tracks in this album are all excellent - melodious, most of them upbeat keyboard- based music with some flavor of rocking electric guitar. The band is led by Andre Andersen (keys and guitars) backed up by DC Cooper (voice), Jacob Kjaer (guitars), Steen Mogensen (bass) and session player Allan Sorensen (drums). The music of ROYAL HUNT is unique in terms of keyboard sounds - it sounds like an orchestra behind their music. You will find also the influence of classical music in keyboard sound. It's interesting and very enjoyable music. I almost like all of their albums, regardless they are prog or not. Their music is so inspiring. Composition is top notch!

The Awakening - It's an album opener with a relatively short duration (1:39) and serves to set the whole atmosphere of the entire album. It consists of a stormy soundscape followed with simple acoustic guitar work to accompany the vocal, augmented with a flute sound from a keyboard. It's a melodic opening and ends up with a simple drumming that indicates the transition to next track.

River of Pain - A wonderful track that starts seamlessly from previous track with simple solo drumming in a slow mode. At first listen this song seemed too simplistic for me as the tempo is probably too slow as a rock song. But when I observe into the structure and basic melody, I admire on how great the composition was written by Andersen as songwriter. It's composed very neatly and performed flawlessly so that I really enjoy the music. I lean that good music is not necessarily complex; even the simple music like this song is also wonderful. All musicians contribute their skills excellently.

Tearing Down The World - Oh man . this song starts beautifully with a killing keyboard melody. Again, this song is truly melodic with a great vocal lines by DC Cooper and backing singers. Btw, DC is one of rock great singers I've ever known! Throughout this song you will hear very nice keyboard sounds as melody or as background during vocal singing part, augmented with some guitar work.

Message to God - This track starts with a catchy (but simple!) piano work with classical touch. The bass line by Steen Mogensen brings the entire instruments roll into the music in relatively medium / fast tempo. The electric guitar produces some soft riffs that accentuate the background music. It turns into great and stunning guitar solo during transition piece between lyrical passages. Keyboard still forms a basic components of this song with a lot of catchy melodies during lyrical passages as well as in transition segments. "Can't reach you, can't meet you. I gave you everything I've got .". It's a beautifully composed music!

Long Way Home - This song starts mellow with a simple acoustic guitar fills and catchy flute sound produced from keyboard instrument. It's a killing melody. DC voice enters nicely "When the night is calling .". The tagline melody of the intro is lending from the first track "The Awakening". But when the singing line increases to higher notes, it's different in melody. The keyboard plays important role in forming the basic melody. The drum starts to roll and bring the music into an upbeat tempo with guitar as rhythm combined with heavy use of keyboard sounds. Jacob Kjaer plays his stunning guitar solo in a slow rock style accentuated with great keyboard at the back. DC shows his ability to sing a high register notes. The song ends up with a nice flute sound (from keyboard) augmented with nice acoustic guitar work.

Time Will Tell - This is probably the true progressive metal vein from the band as it is indicated by the opening part of this song where the music is characterized by heavy riffs. The keyboard brings the music into an uplifting mood with some symphonic sounds. The transition pieces before the vocal enters the music is varied - exploring keyboard, bass as well as guitar. When the voice line enters, the music turns into a melodic metal music with excellent symphonic sounds produced by keyboard sounds. In the break between lyrical passages, the music turns into some wonderful symphonic orchestra kind of music using keyboard as main instrument that provides orchestration. Oh . what a WONDERFUL composition this one is! It's one of my all-time favorite tracks.

Silent Scream - It starts off with a catchy keyboard solo followed with some riffs that bring the music into a faster tempo followed with DC powerful voice. It's like a hard rock kind of music with powerful vocal in high register note. The only different thing is on how keyboard is added melodically, forming the basic rhythm melody. The music itself contains some beat surprise that creates an uplifting mood and energy. Bass line and drum form an excellent variations between musical segments. Jacob performs his guitar solo stunningly. This track ends beautifully with a great orchestration that flows seamlessly to the opening of the next track. Oh man .. What a great composition!!!!!

It's Over - It starts off with an uplifting orchestration continued from the orchestration at the end of previous track. It's so powerful and so colossal that have made this track so wonderful. The orchestration suddenly stops with the entrance of DC voice into the music. The acoustic guitar solo in the middle of this track backed with the keyboard sound is really stunning. It is continued with short keyboard solo and it grows into a nice keyboard sound in a higher notes. At the end of this track, there is a piece of "The Awakening" part repeated shortly to conclude this album.

To summarize, this album is probably not as prog as you imagine. Basically, this is a melodic rock music with some orchestration keyboard style. It's up to you whether you consider this PROG or not as if you view it from the perspective of the approach the band has taken to compose the music, yeah man . you can say so. But, do not imagine this is in the vei of Dream Theater as this is not as heavy as DT. But in terms of composition that comprises song writing and arrangement, this album is truly TOP NOTCH! The production quality is also excellent. That's why I give full five stars rating solely for this respect, ignoring whether or not this is prog. My CD has two discs whereby disc two contains the live version of the album in its entirety, with the same song sequence. It's an excellent show. It would be wonderful if the DVD version of the show is released in the future. I hope. Highly recommended! - Keep on proggin' .!

Yours progressively,

GW - Indonesia

Review by b_olariu
5 stars Two days ago i put my hands on this album. Paradox is better than Moving target, because is very well done, production is outstanding. Every instrument sounds very clear. Beside that, the album, talking about music, is a masterpiece. Again Andre Andersen is the master, and the clear and powerfull voice of DC Cooper. I might say is one of the best prog albums i heard in the last 3 years, very enjoyable album in every way. 2 tracks are here a bomb, even for the prog music in general, River of pain and Time will tell. This band needs more attention from the prog lovers because they worth it.The music of ROYAL HUNT is unique. Congratulation for the album. 5 stars for sure. Among the best in prog metal.
Review by Tarcisio Moura
5 stars Paradox was my introduction to Royal Hunt (and to the world of prog metal). It's their most progressive work and their very best up till now. Looking back it seemes obvious the bands evolution through their earlier releases, but this one is quite remarkable. While Moving Target and even Clown In the Mirror hinted their prog tendency, it was still hard rock melodious the music they produced. On Paradox both the metal side and the progressive side are the rules. A concept album full of great tunes it fullfilled every promise their music had from the very beginning.

On Paradox the talents of every member is in full bloom. D C Cooper had to use all his skills to handle the new songs and he does it very well, emerging from this album as one of prog metal great voices. Steen Mogensen's bass is proeminent for the first time in the studio and finally he has a medium for his talent and technique. Jacob Kjaer guitar is as sharp as ever, full of melody and passion. And russian songwriter, leader and keyboards player Andre Andersen finally unleashes all his Rick wakeman\Keith Emerson style in full throtle. The orchestrations in this CD are beautiful and Andersen at last shows how good he is with longer compositions. Yet nothing is self indulgent here. All notes fit in the right place. Rarely I've seen a prog metal album where virtuosity was so well aplied without waste.

All songs are excellent and flow effordlessly, making this one of the most dinamic and pleasant albums to hear as a whole (although you can also enjoy every track individually too). Even the bonus tracks on my CD are very good: Restless is a great acoustic piece and The Final Lullaby is a very seldom track that was not penned by Andersen, but has the same style as the other tunes.

Conclusion: one of the best prog metal albums of all time. If you're into that style of music or has an open mid to everything good and done with passion this album is a must have. Highly recommended!

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars Most ROYAL HUNT fans list this one as their masterpiece. "Paradox" is a concept album and as usual with this band we get a strong Power-Metal flavour with lots of orchestral sounding keys. Unfortunately everything that i've just described i'm not a fan of. Orchestral sounds, concept albums and Power-Metal. Haha. So let me be the first negative review of this album. It's all about taste.

"The Awakening" is the short intro track that opens with the sound of rain and acoustic guitar. Reserved vocals and flute join in. Drums and guitar later. "River Of Pain" is my favourite. It kicks in wth a full sound immediately. Drums and vocals stand out here. Vocal harmonies are prominant too. A laid back guitar solo 3 1/2 minutes in. Organ follows then synths as drums continue to pound it out. Spoken words end it. "Tearing Down The World" is filled with orchestral sounds and double bass drumming and i'm running for the hills. Vocals before a minute. Ripping guitar after 2 1/2 minutes,synths follow. "Message To God" opens with keyboards. It kicks in before a minute. Nice chunky bass here. Not a fan of the sound here that follows. Vocals join in.

"Long Way Home" opens with acoustic guitar and flute. Vocals before a minute. Orchestral sounds come and go. Heavy before 3 minutes. It ends as it began. "Time Will Tell" opens with heavy outbursts then the drums start to lead. It settles and becomes orchestral. Vocals after 2 minutes. It kicks in with double bass drumming. Vocal harmonies after 5 1/2 minutes. It sounds like a choir after 7 1/2 minutes. Nice guitar solo late. "Silent Scream" opens with keyboards before it kicks in. Vocals,double bass drumming and orchestral sounds follow. "It's Over" continues with much the same sound until the flute comes in before 3 1/2 minutes. Guitar follows. This is an epic sounding tune. It ends as the album began with the rain falling down.

Good album just not my style.

Review by Warthur
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.
Review by Menswear
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!!

Latest members reviews

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 th ... (read more)

Report this review (#1001207) | Posted by progbethyname | Friday, July 19, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Maybe a 4-. This album is pretty good. Each song has a big power metal chorus and the first 8 songs are all together and tell a story. I kind of like the singer's unique voice. All of the song are very good, but for me there's no real stand-outs. Martial Arts is a cool, fast-paced instru ... (read more)

Report this review (#107547) | Posted by ebag7125 | Monday, January 15, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars My first encounter with Royal Hunt was thanks to the video for "Message To God". It worked its magic instantly and I could not get out the melody from my ears for days..weeks. Then i got to listen to the whole album and I was even more enchanted. U cannot describe the music of Royal Hunt as a ... (read more)

Report this review (#81635) | Posted by Szöke Jenö | Wednesday, June 21, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars one of the most ENJOYABLE albums i've ever listened to. you will listen to this so much when you get into it, you'll get sick of it. and thats a hard thing for a prog album to do. needless to say youll come crawling back to this album. every song is great, get your hands on this if you can! ... (read more)

Report this review (#67243) | Posted by roo_dog | Sunday, January 29, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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