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ROYAL HUNT Collision Course Frontiers (2008)

Royal Hunt

It is all change again in the Royal Hunt camp as main man and keyboards master Andre Anderson bids farewell to vocalist John West and in comes Mark Boals (ex-Malmsteen/Ring Of Fire) with the rest of the line-up completed by Marcus Jidell (guitars/cello), House Of Shakira's Per Schelander (bass) and Allan Sorensen (drums). Also adding the Royal Hunt backing vocals choir are such names as Doogie White, Ian Parry and Henrik Brockmann.

As with other Royal Hunt albums it pulls no punches lyrically and it tackles the clash between western religions and those from the east. This is also billed as the sequel to 'Paradox' but obviously with a radically different line-up. Musically it is classic Royal Hunt - keyboard led, lots of big vocals on the choruses and some heavy guitar riffing.

Mark Boals fits into the music well as can be heard on 'Exit Wound' or the very heavy but catchy 'Blood In Blood Out' - this is an album highlight for sure. There is also a curveball as you come to expect with the very mellow acoustic guitar/bass start to 'High Noon At The Battlefield' before it kicks in with a storming vocal from Mark Boals. The drums and bass playing on this album are very good as well the drums in particular have a deep, heavy sound which is perfect for the overall sound.

Another great album and despite the change in vocalist it still sounds like Royal Hunt and they have moved if anything into a heavier sound. Another change is the greater use of strings and even an accordion! This all makes for a rich sound and one that really keeps the listener hooked, especially the keyboards of Andre Anderson. A 'must have' album for fans and if you have yet to listen to Royal Hunt grab this album, then go buy their backlist.

****½

Review by Jason Ritchie

GRTR! Recommended


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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly


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