The creation of keyboardist Andre Andersen, Royal Hunt has been going strong for better than 20 years. Their first mainstream success came in the mid-Nineties with Moving Target (1995) and Paradox (1997) with D.C. Cooper on lead vocals. Recently, following a reunion tour, Andersen asked Cooper to return to the Royal Hunt fold. The result is their eleventh album, Show Me How to Live.
Above, Royal Hunt: the current lineup, back in black, vocalist D.C. Cooper, second from right.
Frankly, Royal Hunt has strayed little from their signature sound: melodic and symphonic, often bombastic, heavy metal with nuances of both power and progressive metal. All this is led by Andersen's grand compositional style and extravagant synthesizer layers. Bringing back D.C. Cooper was a brilliant move as he is a fine and versatile vocalist. Easily one of my favorites, recent with his work with Silent Force and Amran's Plight, I'm sure fans of both Cooper and the band will be pleased.
As mentioned, Show Me How to Live is typical Royal Hunt, but don't consider that description dismissive in any sense. For the grandeur of melodic and symphonic metal, One More Day, the heavier An Empty Shell, the lush and subtle Hard Rain's Coming, and Show My How to Live are signature Royal Hunt. The latter song offer a massive instrumental segue filled with Andersen's keys and fine fret work of newcomer Jonas Larsen. Quite spectacular.
Yet, the material that really impressed was those songs that combines extravagance with a rock groove. You hear some of this within Hard Rain's Coming, but also in Angel's Gone and extensively in the quite catchy Another Man Down (which feature a vocal duet with, at this writing, and unknown female vocalist).
All in all, Show Me How to Live finds Royal Hunt, with Andre Andersen and D.C. Cooper, in fabulous, bombastic, and entertaining form. Only caveat: it should have been longer. Otherwise, quite recommended.
Show Me How to Live finds Royal Hunt, with Andre Andersen and D.C. Cooper, in fabulous, bombastic, and entertaining form. Only caveat: it should have been longer. Otherwise, quite recommended.