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Royal Hunt – Eye Witness

Label: Frontiers Records
Format: CD
Released: 2003
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

Royal Hunt is one of the most underrated bands who have emerged from the 90’s. Their special musical formula is a mix of prog metal and melodic hard rock which has become seasoned over the course of their career. I can site similarities to Queensryche and Stratovarius, where melodies are harmonies are very prominent to their sound and is a strong compliment to the hard guitars and classical arrangements.
This new release includes a guitar sound with a rawer edge heard on “Edge of the World” and ‘Hunted”, while “The Prayer” features a church like piano piece. “Wicked Lounge” also uses a piano, and a sax, creating a New York City lounge vibe with colorful lyrics like “It’s just as easy as scratching your ass”. A track that is a little different for them. “5th Element” is back to a familiar sound for this instrumental with a prominent keyboard section followed by a few sound effects going right into the strong content behind “Help us God”.

A common theme throughout their compositions is the use of various sounds and samples which can be heard prior to the start of a track and during them on occasion. Usually this does not take away from the music but there are times I would rather heard instrumentation instead.

Special edition includes a very neo classical instrumental “Martial Arts” and an acoustic version of “Follow Me” as bonus tracks.
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