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Royal Hunt – Paper Blood

Label: Frontiers Records
Format: CD
Released: 2005
Reviewed By: Rich Catino


With new members on guitars and drums, "Paper Blood"s kicks off with this invigorated lineup on lead track ‘Break the Chains’. Mainman Andre Anderson on bass and keyboards still keeps his keys in the forefront though the guitars also find their place amongst each track making for an edgier sound to "Paper Blood". Andre still has his own way of placing keyboards among Royal Hunt’s interesting mix of styles, Prog Metal meets melodic Hard Rock (‘Not My Kind’). John West, one of the more unsung voices in Hard Rock, sounds great and strong as ever as do the distinctive vocals harmonies that only sound like Royal Hunt melodies.

 

I have always found the equally melding of melodic and progressives to be Royal Hunt’s strong point. There is always a balance between musicianship and a well written song with chorus. Andre’s approach to writing music is not as predictable as most would think. The traditional verse chorus verse chorus is thrown off a bit by his arrangements making some of Royal Hunt’s music a bit to get used to, especially with his inclusion of keyboards. Keyboards almost stick out like a sour thumb at times. Definitely makes for a different listening experience among the many cookie cutter bands of this genre.

As far as the flow to "Paper Blood", of the two instrumentals, third track in ‘Memory Lane’ seems a bit out of place and would have been utilized better later on among the ten tracks. I really enjoy ‘Kiss of Faith’, with its acoustic guitar and clean piano showing yet another dynamic to this talent.

Royal Hunt continues to write somewhat in an unconventional way which sets them apart from many. They have evolved since their earlier days when DC Cooper was the singer and defiantly not the same band from their first two albums.

 
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