Royal Hunt – Show Me How To Live (Frontiers Records)

Saturday, 23rd March 2013
Rating: 8/10

When the masses in a movement clamor for a reunion, it’s only a matter of time (or economics) before such reunifications occur. Danish progressive metal band Royal Hunt may have started with Henrik Brockmann on vocals, but his replacement DC Cooper brought the band to international acclaim in the mid-90’s with such premier releases as Moving Target and especially 1997’sParadox.

Following DC’s departure in 1998 for a solo career and the melodic power act Silent Force, keyboardist Andre Andersen found more than capable singers to helm the band with John West and Mark Boals during the past decade, but 13 years later, Cooper returns on this 11th studio platter, Show Me How to Live. Latest acquisition Jonas Larsen on guitar (coming into the fold this year) gains parallel responsibility with Andre for driving much of the Royal Hunt riff train, spitting out some 70’s-like Blackmore licks against his neo-classical/symphonic keyboard landscape on standout tracks such as the majestic “An Empty Shell” and relatively up tempo “Half Past Loneliness.”

The quintet feature the 10 minute-plus title track near the second half of the album, a sweeping epic ballad that showcases all phases of the DC Cooper melodic power range such as note sustaining movements, tender restraint in many verses, and his multi-part harmonies during the chorus with longtime luminaries Kenny Lubcke and Maria McTurk proving background assistance.

Unlike many of their contemporaries, the seven songs on Show Me How to Live clock in at a tidy 43 minutes, giving the listener adequate time to digest the material without feeling information overload. Whatever personal differences may have happened appear to be water on the bridge, as DC and Andre seem to know each other’s strengths and make for some memorable progressive metal that’s potent without going overboard on the technical virtuoso side of things.

All corners of the globe will want this, especially the longtime Royal Hunt followers.

 www.royalhunt.com

(This content originally appeared on Blistering.com)