Royal Hunt - A Life to Die For

Royal Hunt A Life to Die For cover
Royal Hunt
A Life to Die For
Frontiers Records
Back in 2011 I was very glad to see D.C. Cooper returning to Royal Hunt. After all, he is the No1 and “strangely but not unfairly” the fans’ beloved singer! After all, he’s connected with the best albums & the most prominent Royal Hunt period ever. Those days are coming back in mind when listening to “A Life to Die For”! “Show Me How to Live” showed that the band was in a good mood and had no desire to deceit its fans. The guys were determined to take Royal Hunt one step further and claim what they had accomplished back in the late 90s.
The band’s mastermind, keyboardist, songwriter & producer André Andersen chose to make the album’s sound a bit more lyrical & animated. He brought on board a bunch of classical /orchestra players, (Soma Allpass, Christina Lund, Patricia Skovgaard, Christina Larsen on strings & Erik Rosenqvist and Mads Kofoed on brass/woodwinds) as well as a large choir (CV Company) and he succeeded big time! He also took care of the production and the mixing. The overall sound is wonderful, balanced, smooth & very orchestral.
Another significant moment is the appearance of their old guitarist Jacob Kjaer (Missing Tide, ex-Royal Hunt, ex-Cornerstone) on “Running Out of Tears” which also is one of the finest tracks on the album. Moreover, both guest singers Alexandra Popova (Eclipse Hunter) & Kenny Lübcke (Andersen - Laine - Readman, André Andersen, Narita) have done a remarkable job on the backing vocals. D.C. Cooper is fantastic once again, his performances are enchanting, André is an “orchestra-man”, Allan Sorensen is a drum-beast, Andreas Passmark creates “invisible bass walls” & Jonas Larsen is stunning.
Surely, there’s not much to say about Royal Hunt’s sound since they have taken their own path but let’s just note that “A Life to Die For” showcases how progressive metal, neoclassical, melodic metal and symphonic music can be blended together harmonically and brilliantly! The smart & well-made orchestrations, the memorable melodies, the strong musicianship and the smooth yet not over-polished production have all played a major role here so as to create a very lyrical, pompous, expressive, symphonic & melodic outcome. Royal Hunt with D.C. Cooper (on his second coming) shout they are still around, potent & determined to go all the way. Wish them best of luck and I hope they finally conclude what they left unfinished back in the late 90s. On the whole, “A Life to Die For” is an imposing & inspiring lyrical album… or else “An Album to Die For”…