Royal Hunt - 'A Life To Die For'

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Royal Hunt - 'A Life To Die For'

Powerful, melodic, captivating.

Talking with DC Cooper at this year’s Firefest I asked him how the new Royal Hunt album was coming along. “It’s in the can” he replied “and we’re all real proud of it, I can tell you”. What’s it like I asked? There was a small pause and then he answered “Well it is a lot more symphonic than before if you get my meaning? More over the top, more everything really and I think it’s the best album that we’ve made together”. This of course made me want to hear the new album as soon as possible and when it finally arrived and hit the death deck only a few days after I returned home from FF, I was left gob-smacked by how accurately DC Cooper had described this new album. Let me tell you straight away that he wasn’t exaggerating in any way when he said that this is the most symphonic Royal Hunt album to date, and after playing it many, many times, like him I also believe that this is the best album the band have made together.

Everything just fits so well together and the performances are of such a high calibre, that the seven songs (yes only seven again - Boo!) that make up this CD always keep you enthralled and entertained from the very first note played until the last one fades away. ‘Hell Comes Down From Heaven’ starts the album in truly bombastic fashion, with Andre Andersen’s keyboards taking centre stage but ably supported by the wonderful guitars, bass and drums of Jonas Larsen, Andreas Passmark and Allen Sorensen respectively. Yet again though it’s the returning DC Cooper who steals the show throughout this song and in fact the rest of the album, with an inspired vocal performance of a man who seems to be really enjoying himself and what he does for a living. Then just take a listen to ‘A Bullet’s Tale’ or ‘Running Out Of Tears’ and you’ll find yourself in symphonic metal hog heaven as Royal Hunt rock your world, with glorious melodies and big overblown hooks that are highly intoxicating and leave you drunk on their headiness. ‘One Minute Left’, ‘Sign Of Yesterday’ and ‘Won’t Trust, Won’t Fear, Won’t Beg’ continue to pummel your senses with their pomp and majesty but Royal Hunt leave the best until last with their nine minute epic title track ‘A Life To Die For’, a track that all other Royal Hunt songs have been leading up to. Powerful, melodic, captivating, this song is Royal Hunt and Andre Andersen wrapped up into one all out rock ’n’ roll package. Yes it is that good.

‘A Life To Die For’ is therefore the complete Royal Hunt experience, whether you’re a long time fan or new to the band, this album has everything you’ll ever need from this band as regards overblown symphonic rock! Definitely a must have album.

Ian Johnson  

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