Royal Hunt are one of those perennial favorites who have the unmitigated talent to blend elements of a multitude of Heavy Metal subgenres. Drawing from Power, Melodic, Fantasy and Symphonic Metal, this band has built a reputation of releasing consistently favorable material. Unsurprisingly, ‘Dystopia’ is yet another wonderful addition to their ever-growing discography. Not being privy to a many Royal Hunt releases, ‘Dystopia’ hosts a plethora of notable guest vocalists. Unfortunately, a detailed outline was never provided as to who sang on what (female voice notwithstanding), so any praise is only speculative. Songs like ‘Burn’, ‘Hound Of The Damned’ and ‘Black Butterflies’ are absolute standouts. The illustrious list of guest vocalists include Mats Leven (Candlemass), Mark Boals (Ring Of Fire), Henrik Brockmann (Evil Masquerade), Kenny Lubke (Narita) and Alexandra Anderson (JSP). Unfortunately, the continually changing tonal aspects of the vocals is a bit of a mixed bag for me personally, but the effect on the overarching story/concept does make the totality of the album arguably more satisfying. Although it provides continuity for the story of this concept album, the duet ballad with Alexandra Anderson titled ‘I Used To Walk Alone’ seems to be the album’s only minor misstep. As majestic as it sounds, its over-the-top cloying sentiment makes it more suited for inclusion on any one of Disney’s classic animated feature films. Like many concept albums, this is no short listening affair which nearly runs an hour in duration. With the exception of the Introduction and two brief Intermission bits, no song clocks in at less than six minutes. For those entrenched in the style, that will be a welcome metric and it does allow for the conceptual aspect of the album to mature. Not surprisingly, ‘Dystopia’ is an album best listened to in its entirety and in sequence rather than shuffled. The album will appeal to a really broad range of Melodic Metal fans and all the subgenres mentioned earlier. While it never chases the tail of Progressive Metal for any instance, its ambition, concept and execution is not only expected, but is delivered convincingly by this band of veterans. Those who know Royal Hunt will be pleased and those new to the band will have a fantastic starting point before diving into their lengthy back catalog. - Brent Rusche - Fireworks Magazine
“ Dystopia ” released on December 16th via King Records (Japan/SE Asia) and on December 18th (UPD: physical format on the 15th of January 2021) via NorthPoint Productions (Europe / N / S America). A concept album offering a considerable expansion of the band´s trademark sound and featuring performances by guest vocalists: Mats Leven ( Candlemass, TSO, Skyblood ), Mark Boals ( Y.J. Malmsteen, Ring of Fire ), Henrik Brockmann ( Royal Hunt, Evil Masquerade, N´Tribe ), Kenny Lubcke ( Narita, Zoser Mez ) and Alexandra Andersen ( Royal Hunt, JSP ).
“Dystopia” is available on ALL digital platforms (as MP3, FLAC), and as a regular CD (jewel case), various deluxe editions / bundles and a double heavy vinyl LP at royalhunt.com
ROYAL HUNT - " The Art Of Dying " ft. Mats Leven (single version)
ROYAL HUNT keep intriguing fans with their adventurous endeavors and the band´s 15th studio album is no exception: a monumental concept opus featuring symphonic, progressive yet hard hitting compositions full of impeccable performances, wrapped tightly into immediately accessible format and a lush, contemporary production.
The addition of some extraordinary guest singers and their outstanding performances combined with vastly extended orchestrations creates a truly conceptual, cinematic feel throughout each and every track.
THE ART OF DYING
I USED TO WALK ALONE
THE EYE OF OBLIVION
HOUND OF THE DAMNED
THE MISSING PAGE (Intermission I)
MIDWAY (Intermission II)
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