ROYAL HUNT Paper Blood Frontiers (2005)
The band’s follow-up to the excellent ‘Eyewitness’ album of 2003.
Keyboard wizard Andre Andersen is till in the band along with vocalist John
West but the rest of the line-up has changed with original drummer Kenneth
Olsen returning and Marcus Jidell joining as guitarist. Despite these
changes it is business as usual so far as the music is concerned although
the tunes on here forge a more direct approach then a few of the curveballs
served-up on the last album like ‘Wicked Lounge’.
After an orchestral intro its pedal to the metal time for ‘Break Your
Chains’ with its swirling keys and manic guitar solos. This is the sort of
rock song made for the live arena. ‘Not My Kind’ keeps the momento going
with new boy Jidell showing he is a very accomplished player who seems to
excel more at the soloing than playing chugging power chords.
The instrumental ‘SK 983’ really lets Andre Andersen off the leash and if you
love playing ‘air keyboards’ you will be in seventh heaven with this little
number. Again the band can do light and shade e.g. the title track taking
things down a notch. Can’t go without mentioning John West, what a great
singer he is for this style of pomp/power metal. No overt screaming to hide
vocal deficiencies employed by some vocalist, no West’s voice is pure,
Not quite as ‘instant’ as ‘Eyewitness’ but still a damn fine album and
one that will certainly get repeated plays from me years down the line.
Review by Jason Ritchie
***** Out of this world | **** Pretty
damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly