Rating:
N/A
Royal Hunt - Show Me How To Live
29 November 2011


01. One More Day
02. Another Man Down
03. An Empty Shell
04. Hard Rain's Coming
05. Half Past Loneliness
06. Show Me How to Live
07. Angel's Gone


Doing progressive power successfully has got to be one of the greatest feats in melodic metal. Either one of the genres is not being nearly represented enough in the mix, so the title is misleading, or they're merged in such a way that both the uplifting harmonies of power metal and alien qualities of prog metal get left out of the equation, leaving us with a boring, sterile product. Royal Hunt is one of the many bands that failed doing this the right way.

Of course, it's easy to blame it on poor band chemistry when you look at the band's Metal Storm page - pretty much the only constant member is the keyboardist, guitarist and mastermind André Andersen, and the list of guest, session and former musicians is vast enough to be compared with Haggard's lineup. But for a band that released a truckload of albums, with a lot of prominent members, I frankly expected better ideas and realization. What we have here is a typical "symphonic" parade, with almost zero prog, most sounds emulated from keyboards, a lot of choirs, forced catchiness (as in: it's not really catchy, but we repeat it a lot of times) and a pretty uninspired band fronted by DC Cooper supporting that impression. The fact that they're not actually playing progressive power but rather symphonic power wouldn't be unsettling at all, since they wouldn't be the first band that mislabels themselves, if only the end result was more pleasing.

I had the pleasure of listening to DC lending his voice to Shadow Gallery on "New World Order", a track from their glorious Tyranny, and I held his singing abilities in very high esteem until I heard this album. He sounds very dry and I cannot help but wonder how does a good vocalist manage to be this unconvincing. But he isn't the only one - almost everything here sounds sub-par. It is symphonic, but not epic; old school power metal, but doesn't invite you to sing along; the musicians are fine, but sound very bored, and they aren't even supported by good production. This is doing music just for the sake of doing music, but people are pretty much eating it up because it's "old-school" and the band is acclaimed.

When you hear young guns such as Shadowside making small steps with huge albums, or renowned progsters such as Pagan's Mind switching genres and being incredibly good at it, it makes you wonder how on earth are these exhausted bands ever gonna match that, and you understand why is the collective metal community slowly losing interest in power metal - the good releases don't come often and don't come from places you'd expect them, so people get bored of looking. Maybe this is not as bad as it seems to me, but I've heard this type of metal being done a thousand times, and I can't say I enjoyed it a lot even the first time around.


Band profile: Royal Hunt
Album: Show Me How To Live


 



Written on 03.01.2012 by
Milena
A part of the team since December 2011, writes about the progressive, the sad and the melodic. She's nice until she's not.
More reviews by Milena ››



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Susan - 03.01.2012 at 00:46  
Once again, another incredibly astute review. You really are 100% correct about the genre(s) of power metal and prog/power being drown out by mediocre releases from bigger bands (and many smaller bands, too). It's sad that Royal Hunt and DC Cooper mailed in this performance. They really missed an opportunity here. I am so glad that bands like Shadowside and Pagan's Mind are doing their part to keep this genre alive!

And great point about it being symphonic power metal and not prog power. These days, the same album would be prog/power with a male vocalist and symphonic/power with a female vocalist. No, testicles DON'T make your music progressive.
BoxCar Willy - 03.01.2012 at 00:53  
Written by Susan on 03.01.2012 at 00:46

testicles

heh, you said testicles.

















any way that being dealt with, I'm not usually a PM fan but this review makes me want to check it out.
strade - 03.01.2012 at 01:02  
Check out The Mission by Royal Hunt, their best album by far. Amazing release. This, I couldn't care less about.
Troy Killjoy - 03.01.2012 at 01:05  
This review makes me not want to check this out, which means it was written perfectly.
Mountain King - 03.01.2012 at 02:11  
I still haven't heard this one. I will soon enough, but i wonder if it's as bad as u say. I mean 26 votes with a 8.2 rating is really good. Have u heard Moving Target and Paradox? They are the 2 albums with DC on vocals and they are really good specially Moving Target. Also check DC out with Silent Force who i doubt will release anything again. He is an amazing singer. As for Pagan's Mind, i don't see the similarities between them and Royal Hunt. RH have this orchestral baroque feel unlike Pagan's Mind who have more progy riff based styled Power Metal...
RavenKing - 03.01.2012 at 02:13  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 03.01.2012 at 01:05

This review makes me not want to check this out, which means it was written perfectly.


It is surely not your kind of music.
RavenKing - 03.01.2012 at 02:18  
"and you understand why is the collective metal community slowly losing interest in power metal - the good releases don't come often and don't come from places you'd expect them, so people get bored of looking"

So true.

I didn't listen to the album and I won't bother but your general analysis of Powermetal is spot on, Imo. I already mentioned it on another thread: you write good reviews and, even though I'm not a Powermetal fan at all nowadays and don't enjoy the genre like you, your views on the genre as a whole often match my own views.
Susan - 03.01.2012 at 02:42  
Written by Mountain King on 03.01.2012 at 02:11

Also check DC out with Silent Force who i doubt will release anything again. He is an amazing singer.


Silent Force's last album was incredible. One of my top for that year. However, just because he was great on that album and on others doesn't mean he's incapable of mailing in a performance now and then. It happens to the best singers and bands from time to time. It's just becoming a trend with more establish power acts, is part of Mora's point I believe.
Mountain King - 03.01.2012 at 02:44  
Written by Susan on 03.01.2012 at 02:42

Written by Mountain King on 03.01.2012 at 02:11

Also check DC out with Silent Force who i doubt will release anything again. He is an amazing singer.


Silent Force's last album was incredible. One of my top for that year. However, just because he was great on that album and on others doesn't mean he's incapable of mailing in a performance now and then. It happens to the best singers and bands from time to time. It's just becoming a trend with more establish power acts, is part of Mora's point I believe.

I know, i was just recommending good albums with DC. I still have to hear this album myself to judge...
Milena - 03.01.2012 at 03:07  
Written by RavenKing on 03.01.2012 at 02:18

"and you understand why is the collective metal community slowly losing interest in power metal - the good releases don't come often and don't come from places you'd expect them, so people get bored of looking"

So true.

I didn't listen to the album and I won't bother but your general analysis of Powermetal is spot on, Imo. I already mentioned it on another thread: you write good reviews and, even though I'm not a Powermetal fan at all nowadays and don't enjoy the genre like you, your views on the genre as a whole often match my own views.

I'm not a big power metal fan myself, but I still check out releases in hope to find awesome stuff like I once did with Kamelot or Lost Horizon or some Firewind albums.
Anyway, DC is a terrific singer, but he did sound terribly uninspired 'ere. I'll try and check out previous stuff from the band to see if there is anything better.
Mr. Doctor - 03.01.2012 at 03:09  
I read the entire review, it's good

About the album... I'll believe your words
RavenKing - 03.01.2012 at 03:11  
Written by Milena on 03.01.2012 at 03:07

I'm not a big power metal fan myself, but I still check out releases in hope to find awesome stuff like I once did with Kamelot or Lost Horizon or some Firewind albums.


Judging by the bands listed on your profile, you seem to be more a fan of prog, aren't you?
Milena - 03.01.2012 at 03:14  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 03.01.2012 at 03:09

I read the entire review, it's good

About the album... I'll believe your words

Well, I think the power metal fans shouldn't avoid this as it's better than some other 2011 stuff I've heard, but I personally am fed up with this kind of thing. I wasted a lot of time with average power metal, just because I needed to hear entire discographies to form proper opinions instead of just staying the fuck away like most people do
Milena - 03.01.2012 at 03:18  
Written by RavenKing on 03.01.2012 at 03:11

Written by Milena on 03.01.2012 at 03:07

I'm not a big power metal fan myself, but I still check out releases in hope to find awesome stuff like I once did with Kamelot or Lost Horizon or some Firewind albums.


Judging by the bands listed on your profile, you seem to be more a fan of prog, aren't you?

Yeah, but that love is pretty recent, I've been into prog since 2009. Before that I thought a twenty minute song is just too much and I didn't dig a lot of music with harsher vocals either, was just meandering around, listening to awesome side bands of musicians in side bands of "main" Finnish bands, if that makes any sense. And even before that, I listened to a lot of classic metal and was checking out a lot lot of power metal bands. So when I say a power metal release is sub-par... I know what type of music I'm talking about.
Mr. Doctor - 03.01.2012 at 03:20  
Written by Milena on 03.01.2012 at 03:14
because I needed to hear entire discographies to form proper opinions instead of just staying the fuck away like most people do


My first "metal" years were mostly Power Metal so I hardly need to check out an album to know I'm not going to like it There's nothign wrong with staying the fuck out of shit you just know you won't like.
RavenKing - 03.01.2012 at 03:26  
Written by Milena on 03.01.2012 at 03:18

Yeah, but that love is pretty recent, I've been into prog since 2009. Before that I thought a twenty minute song is just too much and I didn't dig a lot of music with harsher vocals either, was just meandering around, listening to awesome side bands of musicians in side bands of "main" Finnish bands, if that makes any sense. And even before that, I listened to a lot of classic metal and was checking out a lot lot of power metal bands. So when I say a power metal release is sub-par... I know what type of music I'm talking about.


I see.

By the way, just to avoid any misunderstanding, I wasn't implying that you don't have good knowledge about Powermetal. You can explain your point very clearly.
BlueMobius - 03.01.2012 at 03:55  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 03.01.2012 at 03:20

Written by Milena on 03.01.2012 at 03:14
because I needed to hear entire discographies to form proper opinions instead of just staying the fuck away like most people do


My first "metal" years were mostly Power Metal so I hardly need to check out an album to know I'm not going to like it There's nothign wrong with staying the fuck out of shit you just know you won't like.


Yeah, I definitely don't buy or give anything a chance I know that I wouldn't like. With tracks streaming online, hardly any of my buys are bands I don't know or haven't heard and don't already like. That's why my collection has albums mostly rated on the higher end of the spectrum, cause I buy stuff I like.
Mr. Doctor - 03.01.2012 at 03:57  
Written by BlueMobius on 03.01.2012 at 03:55
That's why my collection has albums mostly rated on the higher end of the spectrum, cause I buy stuff I like.


Same here, it's not very often I give myself the luxury to take a chance. If I'm spending money, it better be good.
Milena - 03.01.2012 at 03:59  
Written by RavenKing on 03.01.2012 at 03:26

By the way, just to avoid any misunderstanding, I wasn't implying that you don't have good knowledge about Powermetal. You can explain your point very clearly.

That was in for future reference although I doubt I'll be reviewing a lot of it in months to come, save of requests that are forwarded to me.
NocturnalStalker - 04.01.2012 at 18:24  
I still need to check this album but Royal Hunt weren't able to impress me with their latest albums and I gathered from this review that "Show Me How To Live" is unlikely to turn my impression about the band around...
Sad thing, I enjoyed their music a lot in my early metal days...
EDIT: I've listened to it. Definitely... It sounds uninspired. The music is not awful but it just doesn't capture my attention.
Demikki - 12.01.2012 at 21:26  
Either the reviewer is suffering from a serious brain damage and has no sense for good music OR then he is Mark Boals' mother. The album is great and DC sounds awesome still after all these years. The new album has 7 polished diamonds, which sound better than anything on the two previous albums with Boals...
Troy Killjoy - 12.01.2012 at 22:04  
Pictured above: Mark Boals' mother.
Milena - 12.01.2012 at 22:15  
Written by Demikki on 12.01.2012 at 21:26

Either the reviewer is suffering from a serious brain damage and has no sense for good music OR then he is Mark Boals' mother. The album is great and DC sounds awesome still after all these years. The new album has 7 polished diamonds, which sound better than anything on the two previous albums with Boals...

If you actually read the review instead of skimming over it, you'd notice I made no comparison to the Boals era. But that's okay, happens all the time.
RavenKing - 13.01.2012 at 03:10  
Written by Demikki on 12.01.2012 at 21:26

Either the reviewer is suffering from a serious brain damage and has no sense for good music OR then he is Mark Boals' mother. The album is great and DC sounds awesome still after all these years. The new album has 7 polished diamonds, which sound better than anything on the two previous albums with Boals...


Gratuitous and unfair accusations.
K†ulu - 31.01.2012 at 21:19  
I don't have good memories of X, so I won't even bother checking this one out. Great job on the review!
Milena - 31.01.2012 at 23:24  
Written by K†ulu on 31.01.2012 at 21:19

I don't have good memories of X, so I won't even bother checking this one out. Great job on the review!

Thanks dude!

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