ROYAL HUNT – Show Me How To Live (2011)

One of the most successful rock bands from Denmark in the last 20 years, ROYAL HUNT, is back with a new album “Show Me How To Live”.
Their first mainstream success came in the mid-nineties CD’s ‘Moving Target’ and ‘Paradox’ with American D.C. Cooper on lead vocals.
Recently, following a reunion tour, Andersen asked Cooper to return to the Royal Hunt fold.

“Show Me How to Live” is typical Royal Hunt; melodic and symphonic – often bombastic – metal. But it isn’t a concept album like Paradox, this new one has the less progressive, less epic, song-based approach of their earlier works.
This puts the album more into Melodic Rock territory than the progressive metal sound they’re best known for, really well done and catchy to the ears.
Andersen’s dominant keyboards provide most of the album’s melodic focus, and Cooper’s dynamic range and powerful voice – augmented by some very impressive backing vocals – covers the rest. There’s just something very satisfying and reassuring hearing Cooper’s voice over Andersen’s keys, and it helps that the songs are so solid.

The albums opens with one of the hardest tracks, “One More Day”, a grandiose melodic symphonic metal song with marching arrangements. From this first track you realize one thing; bringing back D.C. Cooper was a brilliant move as he still sounds as great as ever, his range has not left and it has been hibernating in a vocal chamber all these years.
“Another Man Down” starts slow with some mythical sounding piano and builds into a powerful, impassioned rock anthem. The bass at the beginning of this song really creates the mood. The chorus sounds majestic with its harmonized vocals dripping with luring textures.
“An Empty Shell” is anything but empty with its driving keyboards and rhythm section. There is an amazing lightning fast keyboard solo towards the end followed by an equally scorching guitar solo.

“Hard Rain’s Coming” is the album’s best song, a pleasant surprise with its harpsichord intro shadowed by overdriven guitar power chords. Amazing bass work in the interlude and the guitar lines just seem to float like a feather over the top of it.
The mid-tempo “Half Past Loneliness” has an hypnotizing melody and great instrumentation with rich sounds.
The rest the album finishes strong with another anthem, the title track “Show Me How To Live” and wraps it up with “Angel’s Gone” with its classical pizzicato strings and organ sounds leading into a great guitar solo and more colossal vocals. This song builds to monumental heights adding guitars on top of keyboard solos on top of drums solos with the bass holding everything together like glue.

Show Me How To Live is a return to the classic Royal Hunt sound.
It’s teeming with big, slick melodic arrangements, layers of glossy keyboards and jaw dropping guitar licks.
A lot of care has been taken to make everything sound vivid and detailed, with a crisp production and perfect mixing.
Unlike many of their contemporaries, the seven songs on this album clock in at a tidy 43 minutes, giving the listener adequate time to digest the material without feeling information overload.
“Show Me How To Live” has made the wait for a new Royal Hunt album with DC Cooper worth it. Certainly this strong release will close out the year with tremendous momentum that will carry them into 2012 and beyond.
Highly Recommended.

01 – One More Day
02 – Another Man Down
03 – An Empty Shell
04 – Hard Rain’s Coming
05 – Half Past Loneliness
06 – Show Me How To Live
07 – Angel’s Gone

D.C. Cooper – vocals
Andre Andersen – keyboards
Jonas Larsen – guitars
Allan Sorensen – drums
Andreas Passmark – bass


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