ROYAL HUNT – Cast In Stone [Japanese Edition] (2018)

BLACK ACES - Shot In The Dark [European CD version +3] (2016) full

Cast In Stone” is the upcoming studio album from Danish melodic progressive metal masters ROYAL HUNT. The album will be released in February 21st via NorthPoint Productions, but just appeared in Japan published by King Records with a bonus track.
With their 14th studio album, the band prove once again that creativity and staying true to yourself can work hand-in-hand and produce some satisfying results.

I always loved Royal Hunt, however in their last studio album, while good, some of the band’s spark was missing. Well, “Cast In Stone” brings back classic Royal Hunt.
Above all, singer DC Cooper, after some vocal health troubles, has again increased noticeably in strength and you can hear again a powerful delivery from his side.

Musically, the new CD is some kind of a ‘back to the roots’, yet not a copycat, in fact, a step forward for the band. The new longplayer captivates with sophisticated, varied arrangements, clear catchy melodies and surprising tempo changes always based at the service of the song.

ROYAL HUNT - Cast In Stone [Japanese Edition] (2018) cd

And there’s another important thing into the new album: the sound design.
The recording was done in analog tapes, as well as the final mixing / mastering, so there’s no “loudness wars” in-sight; no brickwall limited, over-compressed, lifeless wall of sound. The album breaths just like a real rock album should.

The new CD picks up where Royal Hunt most celebrated albums (‘Moving Target’ or ‘Paradox’) ended, but also reveals a new side of the band. Melodic and catchy as before, yet with a great atmosphere and a revitalized imaginary both in lyrics and playing.
The album grows from track to track, from the outstanding catchy opener “Fistful Of Misery” over the bombastic “The Wishing Well” to the epic finale “Save Me II”.

ROYAL HUNT - Cast In Stone [Japanese Edition] (2018) back

This Japanese version includes as bonus track a live take on “Wasted Time” (well recorded), and listening to it you can hear the difference with aforementioned ‘analog’ studio recording.
I mean, our ears are accustomed to digital recordings, and at first glance, “Cast In Stone” sounds a bit ‘strange’. But after the CD ends, you are grateful for this ‘old school’ technique.
For me, this album is a musical résumé of the Danes’ career with all the typical hallmarks that made them famous, a true return to form.
Highly Recommended

01. Fistful Of Misery
02. The Last Soul Alive
03. Sacrifice
04. The Wishing Well
05. Cast In Stone
06. A Million Ways To Die
07. Rest In Peace
08. Save Me II
09. Wasted Time (Japan Bonus Track)

André Andersen – Keyboards, Guitars
D.C. Cooper – Vocals
Andreas Passmark – Bass
Jonas Larsen – Guitars
Andreas “Habo” Johansson – Drums


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