ROYAL HUNT – Land Of Broken Hearts [Special Edition Remastered +5] (2018)
Danes ROYAL HUNT presented the remastered version of their debut album “Land Of Broken Hearts [Special Edition Remastered +5]” including 5 bonus tracks.
Released in 1992, for many, Royal Hunt’s best album, Land Of Broken Hearts deserved a fresh remastering job – done by leader André Andersen himself – including worthwhile material.
Royal Hunt starts what turned out to be a long and illustrious career with this disc. While it does have some markings of an immature debut record, all of the elements of the band’s majestic sound are in place here, and thus it’s a surprisingly strong debut.
Keyboardist and bandleader Andre Andersen comes up with a consistent and energetic set of songs, and the band tears through them with a fury and reckless abandon that they never really equaled. The rhythm guitars push forward with numerous sixteenth note gallops, and the vocal melodies rush with urgency.
The typical dramatic atmospheric arrangements that define the band’s sound are immediately apparent from opener “Running Wild” and don’t let up, and even the call-and-response vocal dynamics that would be equally prominent later on show up with reasonable frequency (and frankly, better execution than on most later releases).
Highlights include the breezy “Easy Rider,” the gorgeous semi-ballad “Age Gone Wild,” and the darting “One By One.” The uptempo feel of most of the tracks gives this album a frenetic energy, as Brockmann’s tough, edgy delivery and the driving guitars fit together nicely, and the atmospherics also let the band pull back effectively on songs like “Age Gone Wild” and the title track.
As for the bonus material, ‘Day in Day Out’ was the original, Japan-only bonus track, while ‘Land of Broken Hearts (Acoustic Version)’, ‘Age Gone Wild (Acoustic Version)’ and ‘Bad Luck’ were originally included into the impossible to find ‘The Maxi EP’ from 1993, released in Japan to introduce the band’s upcoming, sophomore album Clown In The Mirror.
The song “Bad Luck” appears only on that EP.
And there’s the new song ‘What Goes Around Comes Around’, limited to this release; it’s an old song that was found on some old demo tapes. It has been fully re-recorded with original vocalist Henrik Brockman brought back into the fold for this one.
“Land Of Broken Hearts” production was rocking yet not huge — the big, lush sound of later releases isn’t here yet.
So this fresh remaster is more than welcomed; all instruments certainly are all clearer, and the mix breathes. Vocalist Henrik Brockmann, the least known of the four singers that would front the band comes much better out of the speakers, and the overall drum / cymbals sound is more crisp.
01 – Running Wild
02 – Easy Rider
03 – Flight
04 – Age Gone Wild
05 – Martial Arts (Instrumental)
06 – One by One
07 – Heart of the City
08 – Land of Broken Hearts
09 – Freeway Jam (Instrumental)
10 – Kingdom Dark
11 – Stranded
12 – Day in Day Out [original Japan Bonus Track]
13 – Land of Broken Hearts (Acoustic Version)
14 – Age Gone Wild (Acoustic Version)
15 – Bad Luck
16 – What Goes Around Comes Around (New Song)
André Andersen – keyboards and guitars
Henrik Brockmann – lead and backing vocals
Steen Mogensen – bass
Kenneth Olsen – drums
Henrik Johannessen – all guitars on “Day In Day Out”
Jacob Kjaer – guitars
Mac Guanaa – guitar solos
Maria McTurk – backing vocals
Maria Nørfelt – backing vocals
Carsten Olsen – backing vocals
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