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Review: Royal Hunt - Devil's Dozen
Royal Hunt
Devil's Dozen

Label: Frontiers Records
Year released: 2015
Duration: 49:44
Tracks: 8
Genre: Power Metal


Review online: October 1, 2015
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4/5 (80%) (12 Votes)

The latest installment of Royal Hunt magic seems to be suffering from a mixed reaction, and I admit that the first couple of listens made my heart sink a little. I think it's the slow build up of opener "So Right So Wrong", which doesn't hit you in the same way "Hell Comes Down From Heaven" did from the previous album A Life To Die For. Instead of the theatrical devices often used to propel a Royal Hunt album, the opener grabs you on the fifth listen or so, and by then the huge, choir-sung chorus is imbedded deep within your skull. From then on, we're in business.

"May You Never Walk Alone" and "A Tear In The Rain" are classic Royal Hunt cuts, full of double-kick drums at half speed, desperately catchy melodies and smart keyboard runs by Andre Andersen, topped off with a rather cynical lyrical bent that gives Devil's Dozen a unique edge. The band sound unified here, providing a solid yet lively backdrop for superstar vocalist DC Cooper to yowl into the void. Complaints have been made about his performance, and admittedly he does sound a little strange. It's due to age, I'm sure, but I kinda like the nasal quality he's adopted, as it gives you something new to focus on when faced with giant neo-classical arrangements on songs like "Heart On A Platter".

It takes a few spins to sink in, but when it does, you'll see this is a denser album than A Life To Die For, with better songs and a healthy production. It's Royal Hunt, so expect things to be melodramatic. If you need some melodic metal to break up your day, this is one of the better albums of the year to deliver. You got a spare fifty minutes? Give it a shot.

More about Royal Hunt...
Review: A Life to Die For (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Devil's Dozen (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Dystopia - Part II (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Fear (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: Land of Broken Hearts (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Show Me How to Live (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: The Watchers (reviewed by Christian Renner)
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