Royal Hunt - Eye Witness - 2003


We have waited a long time for a new studio album of the Danish Royal Hunt. Their previous work called “The Watchers” was only a bridge among the album called “The Mission” and this new work “Eye Witness”. This time Andre Andersen and his guys have focused their new work toward a ferocious criticize to the mass media. “Eye Witness” give us a very peculiar vision of how the press, the television and other media influence in our daily life.The band continues being strong in spite of the continuous changes of drummer, an instrument that is not able to have fixed member in this band. This time they have the collaboration on the drums of Allan Tschicaja.This time we find new punctual collaborations as those of Soma Allpas (cello) and Steve Daniels (sax). Apart from this they continue having their particular choir group composed by the fantastic Kenny Lubcke, María McTruck and Laura Faurschou.


A design based on newspaper cuttings presents us this work, we take out the compact of the CD case and we begin the listening:

"Hunted" is the name of the first track and already from the first compasses we can appreciate that they have not changed their characteristic style a lot. Rhythms of pure Hard Rock wrapped up by a big dose of melody. A good single to start this new work. "Can´t Let Go" makes us think that this album (on the contrary that we thought in the beginning) will be a little different than the previous ones. Their hardrock influence has been accentuated so we can fell it in this song. A lot of feeling, mainly by the guitars and a good dose of personality in the voice. Surprisingly we realize that all the songs are introduced by common sounds: a door, an office, the sound of an airplane.. with the intention of introduce us into the songs. "The Prayer" is a good ballad almost sung a cappella with only the sound of an organ, John West´s, and the vocal reinforcement of the choir. Bad place to locate a song of this nature which can make think that this CD will be a tasteless album. "Edge of the World". Subtly listening this track we realize that the keyboards on this album are quite less present that in anyone of their other ones. "Burning the Sun" wakes up with some quicker rhythms again that in the previous songs. This track goes in the Royal Hunt wave of its previous albums, harder & heavier and more symphonic but without a good & convincing ending up. "Wicked Lounge" is the strangest song that I have been able to listen of this band. There is not any rock element inside the music (maybe something of blues) that appears in this track. A high degree of originality but today we even continue openmouthed not being able to define this song. "5th Element" is the quickest and hardest song of the album. It could not miss an instrumental one in this album. This time the song is not too original. Very repetitive parts and too many times tiresome. "Help us God" goes in the wave of the first songs of the album. Hard & heavy rhythms full with voices with great feeling. "Game of Fear" is maybe a mixture of all the previous tracks in one. Quick parts, very Hard Rock parts, symphonic and at the same time strange that surprises us more and more. Finally we find the finish song that title the album. "Eye Witness" contains the same guitar riffs than the first track of the album. Only some changes in the melody and a abrupt end.


The truth is that it´s really very difficult to understand this big and sometimes strange change that André Andersen has given to his band. Being him the main composer and producer of all Royal Hunt albums we don´t understand why the keyboards have passed almost to a third plane in this album in which we only find a few keyboard solos, few harmonies and few atmospheres characteristic of the band during all their career. It seems a not very worked album make with hurries. Many repetitive parts and strange songs that can be compared with previous others. If they pretend to be more original I must say that they have gotten it to 100%. On the other hand I think that it is an insipid disk. We hope they return to their previous direction in next works.

author - date - rating - label

Germán Villen  - August 2003 -   - Frontiers Records