Royal Hunt - Show Me How to Live
Frontiers Records
Melodic Progressive Metal
7 songs (42'20")
Release year: 2011
Royal Hunt website, Frontiers Records
Reviewed by Alex

I will admit that my CD collection does not have many hard rock/straightforward melodic metal titles in it. One prominent exception is Danish veterans Royal Hunt to whom I took the liking many years ago. For one reason or another I did manage to miss out on their last pair of full-lengths, so their new issue Show Me How to Live and reunification with the original US born singer DC Cooper was a pleasant surprise.

Just like when you buy a known wine you tasted many times before or go to your favorite restaurant and order a familiar tasty dish, Royal Hunt on Show Me How to Live bears little in terms of surprises, but satisfying and fulfilling this album is to the fullest. The long time band leader, composer, keyboardist and multi-instrumentalist Andre Andersen brought out the sound and stylings of Paradox with hard rocking tunes, enormous arrangements and quality production rivaling big budget symphonic orchestras. The songs like One More Day or Angel’s Gone are immediately recognizable signature Royal Hunt. After heroic, dramatic intro (One More Day) or marquee instrumental opening (Angel’s Gone) these tunes turn into upbeat rockers, with superbly skilled musicians delivering rich, melody woven tapestry.

The experienced Royal Hunt songwriting shows in the songs on the album having no wasted spaces, no downtime lollygagging moments. Polished and very pleasant to listen to, these cuts on Show Me How to Live, however, have their own different personalities. An Empty Shell is a bit darker and theatrical, having some Phantom of the Opera feel to it. Half Past Loneliness begins with a menuet, delivering both softer melodies and harder chord-based riffs with a catchy refrain, succumbing into a romantic weepy guitar solo in the middle of it all. Hard Rain’s Coming is just as much entertaining, even if its melody is downright pop music. Then there is Crucified by Army of Lovers channeled in the verse of Another Man Down. The title track is the only superlong outwardly progressive composition on the album, beginning more mellow and mid-pace than the rest of them, and then going on the lengthy instrumental run midway through the song, where keyboard chords hint of Queen from Show Must Go On.

DC Cooper does not disappoint one bit. Surrounded by a female duet on Another Man Down or choral backing vocals on One More Day, An Empty Shell and title track, he has enough solo moments to shine and even reaches back for a number of high notes on One More Day and An Empty Shell. It is not, however, his stratospheric abilities that Royal Hunt benefits from the most, but the richness and fullness of his voice, in perfect harmony with the driving melodies of the album’s compositions.

Paradox Show Me How to Live is not, but then that album could not have been possibly topped. It pleased me to no end that these Danish veterans still have in them to come up with a classy and engaging album at the stage of their career where they could have been simply milking their past laurels. To be around for more than 20 years and still be relevant is a feat in and of itself. Royal Hunt have done that and more.

Killing Songs :
Not a bloated display of instrumental skill this album is pleasant to listen to from the beginning to the end
Alex quoted 84 / 100
Other albums by Royal Hunt that we have reviewed:
Royal Hunt - Devils Dozen reviewed by Alex and quoted 84 / 100
Royal Hunt - A Life to Die For reviewed by Alex and quoted 90 / 100
Royal Hunt - X reviewed by Erik and quoted 79 / 100
Royal Hunt - Paradox II - Collision Course reviewed by Chris and quoted 90 / 100
Royal Hunt - Paper Blood reviewed by Cody and quoted 75 / 100
To see all 9 reviews click here
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