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11.11.11

Royal Hunt - 'Show Me How To Live' (frontiers records) 4.5/5

Denmark's Royal Hunt have become a bit of an institution on the Euro metal scene for a good few years now, and now they are serving up their 11th studio album and the first in thirteen years to feature US vocalist D.C. Cooper, who returns to the fold to replace the departing Mark Boals.

I will confess from the off that I have a massive soft spot for this kind of epic pseudo-progressive power metal, and this one is hitting the right spots and ringing all the right bells in my old musical nogging. I mean take a track like Hard Rain's Coming which kicks off with a simple little harpsichord and vocals sequence builds up and up through driving riffs and walls of keyboards and backing vocals, takes in a soul wrenching Andy Latimer style solo from Jonas Larsen and then just when your expecting the huge finish it dies away to the same simple starting motif.. what's not to like?

There are seven tracks on offer, all pretty damn good un's they are too, even Half Past Loneliness, with its euro-vision style chorus is saved from the pits of cheese by a storming bass lick and a classic Larsen trademark solo. However to my ears the albums stand out cut is the epic title track. Ten and a half minutes of a great band doing what they do best, complete with some inspired key changes and some guitar vs Keyboard interplay to die for.

Over all I'm very impressed with this one, it may not be quite as good over all as Dignitiy's classic 'Project Destiny' album from a few years back, but its getting there. After all Royal Hunt are a band who have been doing this stuff in style for over twenty years now and over that time have honed their act well, and this album isn't going to do them or their reputation any harm at all. Well worth a spot purchase.

For fans of... Dignity, Awake, Falconer, Dragon Force, The Magnificent.....