ROYAL HUNT – Devil’s Dozen [Japan Edition SHM-CD] (2015)
ROYAL HUNT returned with a triumphant new album in “Devil’s Dozen“, which has the privilege to be released on high quality SHM-CD in Japan, featuring an exclusive bonus track and a bonus DVD.
There are few Rock acts with more than 25 years career that have been as consistent in their sound and output as Denmark’s Royal Hunt. Since their first two (now classic) albums appeared in the ’90s, the band founded by ivory tickler Andre Andersen never stopped to increase success via stupendous records and live performances.
Sure, they’ve had their share of personnel changes, significantly in the vocalist position, however excellent singer Pennsylvania native D.C. Cooper returned in 2011 recording two successful albums, and now is still present in “Devil’s Dozen”.
Royal Hunt’s music is heavy on dramatics and bulging with symphonic mayhem. Opening tracks ‘So Right, So Wrong’ and ‘May You Never (Walk Alone)’ are rich on both departments, with all the classic RH elements to the fore: majestic choruses, powerful vocals, strong riffs and keyboards galore.
Although Andersen’s larger than life keyboards dominate most of the songs, Jonas Larsen’s killer guitar solo on ‘Heart On A Platter’ more than holds it’s own, and on the bluesy midtempo ‘Until The Day’ he simply smokes.
There can be no doubting that the rerecruitment of vocalist DC Cooper has been nothing short of a masterstroke. He’ll always be ‘the voice’ of Royal Hunt. His leads on the epic ‘A Tear In The Rain’ are to die for.
Only Royal Hunt can seemingly connect the lounge piano with a darker more dramatic mood on ‘Heart on a Platter’. The melodies are easy to pick out, on the surface, but it is the arrangements that make them rich and enjoyable.
‘Riches To Rags’ offers some Celtic vibes to the mix, while in ‘Way Too Late’ the band is showing its modern approach without loosing its originality. It’s a great melodic hard rocker (some H.E.A.T on it… yes, I am not drunk) with a catchy as hell hook, terrific chorus line and the ‘big sound’ in front row. Once again D.C. Cooper’s vocals are superb here.
The Japanese Edition features the track “Monochrome”, a melodious piece that I am sure will delight first-time fans of the band.
Royal Hunt is back with a fantastic album, in many aspects, the best of their fruitful career.
Seriously, “Devil’s Dozen” is on par with their excellent first albums, and even it’s more complete, varied and better recorded. We have here all of the band’s celebrated elements plus a fresh modern rockin’ approach and the result is brilliant.
Powerful and melodic with a larger than life sound (top notch production), excellent musicianship and the amazing vocals of D.C. Cooper are some of the ingredients of this new gem that can’t be missed by any fan of this band and, and of course, of the metal / melodic hard rock scene in general.
Contender for Album Of The Year for sure.
Victor Entertainment ~ MIZP-30012 デヴィルズ・ダズン [SHM-CD+DVD]
01 – So Right, So Wrong
02 – May You Never (Walk Alone)
03 – Heart On A Platter
04 – A Tear In The Rain
05 – Until The Day
06 – Riches To Rags
07 – Way Too Late
08 – Monochrome (Japanese Bonus Track)
DC Cooper: vocals
Andre Andersen: keyboards
Andreas Passmark: bass
Jonas Larsen: guitars
Andreas Habo Johansson: drums
BUY IT !