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...and now "Back to 70s" with Royal Hunt! - 90%

AndreOsokin, May 26th, 2010

If you want something in the vein of early Deep Purple, Uriah Heep or Genesis - and all this with a modern sound, you just have to buy this new Royal Hunt album, entitled X!

This is the band's tenth full-length album, and I'd say, the most experimental one. They used old synthesizers, organs, guitars, amps and even drums! Also, they've changed their usual mixing studio "Medley Studio" (where almost all albums were mixed) to legendary "Puk Studio" - a place where a lot of worldwide-famous musicians have recorded. All this to recreate that "70s atmosphere", about which the band wrote in their first studio blog entries. I think they made it work.

The influence of music of those times is also present in the songs. And the ones who have been listening to Royal Hunt for a long time already, would most likely hear some similarities with the band's early albums (surprise, surprise!). Possibly you won't "understand" this album after the first listening. People who awaited to hear something like Collision Course won't dig it at first. But after the second or third listening you're starting to understand the concept. The songs are more unpredictable now, more progressive and versatile. Mark Boals' vocals - one of the most discussed topics about RH - sounds really fantastic. I dare to say that he sounds like never before in his entire career, and it makes sure that Andre Andersen made the right choice! And of course, (already a tradition) backing vocal parts of Maria McTurk, Kenny Lubcke and RH's first singer, Henrik Brockmann sound especially cool on this record. Additional parts were sung by Michelle Raitzin (who has made an appearance on the previous album already) and Gertrud Mogelgaard. The new bass player, Andreas Passmark, showed that he is no worse than his predecessors, and it will be really interesting to see him playing live.

I must say, all of the songs have catchy melodies and each of them is good. But there really are some notable tracks: "The Well" (a highly anticipated track by the fans, I guess. Why? See their studio blog), the absolutely amazing "Shadowman", "The Last Leaf" - probably, one of the best ballads in band's history, "Falling Down" - there's only two words that may come to your mind while listening to it - "Royal" and "Hunt".

The album turned out to be very unusual, unexpected... but that only forces you to listen to it once more!

Special thanks to SCARLET RECORDS for the promotional stuff.