4 out of 5 Stars!
Since the early ’90s, Denmark’s Royal Hunt has been a fairly consistent and recognizable band when it comes to its signature sound/style—Heavy Prog-Metal with rich and layered Pomp/Symphonic keyboards and a touch of Neoclassical Metal thrown in.
Despite several changes in vocalists and other chief players through the years, that sound hasn’t altered too much, undoubtedly thanks to keyboardist André Anderson, group founder and sole original member, who seemingly provides the “musical Super Glue” when it comes to keeping the band’s style relatively intact.
And on this album, with vocal powerhouse Mark Boals (Yngwie Malmsteen/Ring of Fire/Mattsson/Etc.) behind the microphone, the group once again delivers some melodic, grand, and driving Metal with a glorious symphonic approach. Tracks such as “End of the Line,” “Army of Slaves,” “Blood Red Stars,” “King for a Day,” and “Shadowman,” with their often-complex instrumentation, are occasionally bombastic and explosive, filled with blasts of keyboards and guitars, rumbling bass and thundering drums, along with undoubtedly one of the finest singers in the genre belting out his heart.
Unfortunately, this would end up being Boals’s final release with the group, and for the next album, singer D.C. Cooper would return to the fold after a thirteen-year absence. But again, despite the change in personnel, the band’s sound would remain consistent, thanks once again to that aforementioned “musical Super Glue” provided by André Anderson.