ROYAL HUNT – Collision Course

ROYAL HUNT - Collision Course
  • 7/10
    ROYAL HUNT - Collision Course - 7/10


Release date: March 14, 2008

User Review
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Most long-time fans of Danish/American Power/Prog/AOR-outfit Royal Hunt have probably gotten well-used to both member changes and albums sounding exactly alike by now. Thus Collision Course, the sequel to 1997’s highly acclaimed Paradox, should offer no surprises.

Mark ”Nut-Squeezer” Boals (of Malmsteen, Lana Lane, and Ring Of Fire fame) has replaced John West behind the microphone this time around. This did cause controversy among the band’s fans, as West to many has become rather much of a signature singer for the band, with his passionate and warm, yet powerful, delivery way outpowering his predecessor, the otherwise excellent DC Cooper. Luckily, though, Boals puts on a fantastic performance throughout the album’s entire 51+ minutes playing time. As usual, his top range sounds amazing, but he sounds far fruitier when in his middle and lower range than during his years with Yngwie, and although the latter’s Alchemy album probably will stand as Boals’ vocal magnum opus forever, this album gives it a good run for its money.

Musically Royal Hunt is, and has always been, about Andre Andersen, and Andre Andersen alone. His characteristic synth lines and fluffy arrangements at their best entirely overshadow the fact that he has no abilities whatsoever when it comes to making decent guitar riffs. ”Chaos A.C.” and ”Blood In, Blood Out” are two examples of what it sounds like when he fails, while the melody-based ”Exit Wound,” ”Hostile Breed,” ”The First Rock,” and ”Tears Of The Sun,” on the other hand, show what a songsmith he indeed can be. These four, together with the majority (everything, except for the horrible, cheap synth melody that opens the track) of the opener ”Principles Of Paradox” is Royal Hunt at their best -– mixing melody and huge, symphonic arrangements with groovy bass lines and catchy hooks.

What’s weird this time is that the production, for the first time since the band’s very first albums, is not entirely up to par. Although the instruments come through loud and clear, the vocals are very close to drowning in a way too deep sea of keyboards. Indeed a peculiar way of welcoming a new singer. Still, this does not ruin the impression of yet another Royal Hunt album worth having. The band does not reinvent the wheel this time by any means, but you’ll be able to cope with round, inflatable wheels for yet a little while longer.


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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