Royal Hunt - The Watchers - 2002


Although it hasn't been a long time since Royal Hunt released their last album called "The Mission" and based on Ray Bradbury's famous book "The Martian Chronicles", they offer us a new CD with 10 songs.

Basically the CD only includes one new track for the European audience. "Intervention" is a song of more than 14 minutes in length that was included in the single of the album with the same name, released only in Japan. Unfortunately their fans from the rest of the world have had to wait until January 2002 to get it. With this song called "Intervention" plus the CD called "The Mission" these Danish musicians complete a great conceptual piece of work. The rest of the CD is made up of 4 live tracks recorded in during their tour in 2000 and another 4 that are re-recorded tracks from their first two albums. But lets take it easy and analyze each part separately.


The CD starts with the track above mentioned called "Intervention". An introduction in quite a military style gives way to the first chords. I start listening to the instruments and I notice a very clear sound, I can differentiate perfectly the instruments and John West's voice. One of the things that has always surprised me of Royal Hunt is the way they look after all the details, and once more their technicians have done a great job. Their characteristic sound is still there; lots of keyboards, precise guitars well interlaced with the bass, a great drummer and the talented singer John West, who also sings in the band called Artension. It's a good track that follows, as I have mentioned before, the style that Royal Hunt has maintained up to now. Maybe, and as a personal opinion, I will say that this track follows more the style of Andre Andersen's solo album.

The second part of the CD, made up by 4 live tracks makes me take off my hat before there live sound technicians. After listening to the double live CD called 1996 I though that it would never be possible to make a recording in a better quality. Well, which was my surprise when I listened to the chords of the second track called "Lies". The band plays the songs live perfectly until the point where you even forget it is a live recording. Only when you hear the crowd is when you realize it's a concert. "Flight", "Message To God" and "Epilogue" complete this second part. These guys could be defined as real professionals. No coordination mistakes, John West replacing their before singer D.C. Cooper and a really good chorus (they are really part of the band) made up by two feminine voices and one masculine make the songs even more compact.

The third part, made up by 4 re-recorded tracks at first thought I considered it a bit less interesting because Royal Hunt used to record lots of unreleased tracks and of course re-record old tracks. This time the turn was for "One By One", "Clown In The Mirror", "Day In Day Out" and "Legion Of The Damned". In each track they have included new parts dedicated to their solo section. A new sound and with a good quality giving it a touch of this new millennium'sRoyal Hunt.

To end, one more track, it is "Intervention" again, but this time it is an exclusive version for the radio, reducing the length of the song to about 6 minutes.


Well, as an ending to this review, I will say that this is is not a new Royal Hunt studio CD but even though they have known how to make use of the attraction people have over these kind of rarities and I think it is a peculiar and interesting starter before the release of their next album. A round of applause for the musicians and even more for their sound technicians.

"They are really good professionals"

author - date - rating - label

Germán Villén - January 2002 -   - Frontiers Records