Royal Hunt - Fear

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Rondel Records
Catalog Number: RRCD RH501
Format: CD
Total Time: 49:07:00

One would think with a new vocalist, Royal Hunt's sound would change somewhat - especially when that new vocalist is a known entity in the progressive/power metal genre with his own identity. But, if you didn't know that D.C. Cooper had left the band, you'd swear he was still singing. Now, on the one hand, that means that Royal Hunt haven't lost their signature sound, on the other, you'd think they'd have allowed John West (Artension) to bring something of himself to it. Even if he has, it isn't immediately apparent.

Now, add to this the fact that Royal Hunt have a new drummer in Allen Sorensen, and it is even more surprising that their sound has stayed, essentially, the same. Whether this signals some dictatorship on the part of keyboardist Andre Andersen or not, I can't say. I would imagine not. But as he has written all the music and lyrics, the vision of Royal Hunt is his.

But, it all becomes so inconsequential when you actually listen to the album, as Fear is another strong and solid release. This will not disappoint Royal Hunt fans in the least, except that it explores no new ground. If West sticks with the band as a vocalist, versus a one-off thing, Fear can be viewed as the bridging album - the arch between the old and the new. Of course, Royal Hunt hasn't had the best of luck in the longevity of their vocalists. In the half dozen or so of their albums, they've had three vocalists, including West. Certainly not an oddity for that fact, of course (need I mention Arena, for example?), but it does make you wonder whether Andersen is looking for a particular something, or if the vocalists feel they need more free reign.

Again, it is a side issue where this album is concerned, because it is quite good - at least as good as their previous two efforts, if not, in some ways, better. About the only drawback, really, to this album is the inscrutable album cover. Conceptually it is okay, but there is very little contrast between the crest and the background.

For all the long tracks, it is relatively short at just under 50 minutes. But, that makes it a tight album, too. No filler to take up the extra minutes.

This is highly recommended either as your first foray into Royal Hunt or if you are a long time fan.

Fear (9:38) / Faces Of War (6:56) / Cold City Lights (5:23) / Lies (7:44) / Follow Me (6:22) / Voices (5:20) / Sea of Time (7:44)

Andre Andersen - keyboards
Allen Sorensen - drums
Steen Mogensen - bass
John West - vocals
Jacob Kjaer - guitars
Kenny L?bcke - backing vocals

Land Of The Broken Hearts (1992)
Clown In The Mirror (1993)
The Maxi EP (1993)
Moving Target (1995)
Far Away (ep) (1995)
Live 1996 (1996)
Double Live In Japan (1996)
Paradox (1997)
Closing The Chapter (1998)
Fear (1999)
The Mission (2001)
The Watchers (2002)
Eyewitness (2003)
Paper Blood (2005)
Live 2006 (2006) Paradox II: Collision Course (2008)
X (2010)
Show Me How To Live (2011)
A Life To Die For (2013)
Devil's Dozen (2015)

Live 2006 (DVD) (2006)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin SE

Added: February 1st 2000
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1838
Language: english


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