Royal Hunt
A Life to Die For

01. Hell Comes Down From Heaven
02. A Bullet's Tale
03. Running Out Of Tears
04. One Minute Left To Live
05. Sign Of Yesterday
06. Won't Trust, Won't Fear, Won't Beg
07. A Life To Die For

André Andersen - keyboards
D.C. Cooper - vocals
Allan Sørensen - drums
Andreas Passmark - bass
Jonas Larsen - guitars

Land of Broken Hearts (1992)
Clown In the Mirror (1993)
Moving Target (1995)
Paradox (1997)
Fear (1999)
The Mission (2001)
Eyewitness (2003)
Paper Blood (2005)
Collision Course: Paradox II (2008)
X (2010)
Show me How to Live (2011)

Kenny Lubcke, Alexandra Popova – backing vocals
Jacob Kjær – guitar solo on “Running Out of Tears”
Soma Allpass, Christina Lund, Patricia Skovgaard, Christina Larsen - strings
Erik Rosenqvist, Mads Kofoed - brass/woodwinds
CV Company – choir

Artwork by Kai Brockschmidt
Produced and mixed by Andre Andersen

Released 2013-11-29
Reviewed 2013-11-20



Denmark’s most Royal band makes it a dozen, albums that is. And they make it with an album called A Life To Die For which has a great looking album cover, much nicer than its predecessor. It is otherwise quite similar to that predecessor in that it has the same members, same producer, same cover artist and same musical style. It is very similar to the eleventh album. It even has seven tracks. A lot is reminiscent of the predecessor with this album and that is one factor making it a difficult album to find the correct rating for.

Before moving to difficulties, let us look a bit at the style of this album. It is typical of Royal Hunt with melodic, grande, symphonic rock/metal, lots of power and finesse. Great vocals in DC Cooper and intricate yet quite simple songs to take in. This album also shows a great production with excellent sound, not much to complain about there. Variation is strong and the seven tracks are fairly long on average with a total playing time of little over 45 minutes which is a fairly long for an album of such few songs. The album however, does not really offer anything we haven’t already heard from the band and I don’t think it feels as fresh and exciting as some earlier works and its predecessor. A bit like they are trying to be what they are celebrated for rather than be what they are right now.

Royal Hunt is always a mark of quality and this album is no exception to that but it is far from Royal Hunt at its best. Firstly it is too similar to the album before it and it feels like the album is taking a step sideways and slightly backwards rather than one forwards in terms of ideas and in terms of quality. Secondly, the album starts in a very tired way as it begins with three of last album’s rejects. It picks up after that and ends in a thrilling and exciting way, a way that shows that Royal Hunt still has it in spades. Unfortunately they don’t have it all the time hence my difficulty to really pinpoint the rating I think should be correct and I know a four may seem a bit harsh but in the end I think that you just will not play this album over the predecessor and some of the older albums.

It is a sort of average album for Royal Hunt, but track four One Minute Left To Live does not only pose a good question, what do I do with only one minute left in life? Think about it. Said song is also a great catchy classic Royal Hunt song, very strong, excellent in fact. The ending title track is also great, so they end well but the album as a whole is overshadowed by other stuff by these guys. I am not dissing this album and if you like Royal Hunt or their kind of music, then you’ll like this one, of that I am sure. I think that if the majority of the album was as good as the fourth and last track I would be really impressed. But in the end I would call this a fairly good album but I know that they can do a lot better.




Label: Frontiers Records
Three similar bands: Silent Force/Grand Illusion/Sacred Dawn
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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