Album Reviews
Band: Royal Hunt

Title: XIII Devil's Dozen

Label: Frontiers Records

As you may have guessed from the title, this is the 13th studio release from Denmark’s Royal Hunt and fifth to feature the vocals of D.C Cooper, who once again brings the sound of the first Royal Hunt album back with a vengeance.

As well as Cooper’s vocals, we see the enigmatic keyboards of founder Andre Anderson, the towering guitars of Jonas Larsen and the big hitting rhythm section of Andreas Passmark on bass and Andreas Habo Johansson on drums.

The album once again highlights the Danes ability to cross over between the Melodic and Symphonic Metal genres with ease, as the album opens up in true Hunt style with the first of the seven-minute epics ‘So Right So Wrong’, as the keyboards of Anderson and the guitars of Larsen fight out for supremacy with the only winner being the listener, then when Cooper unleashes his vocal might and the bass and drum explode onto the scene, the track really comes together. 

After this massive opener you wonder have the band peaked to soon, but fear not, this isn’t the case, as the epic metal continues with 'May You Never (Walk Alone)'.  This one opens with a gentle piano styled keyboard then Cooper joins the party and all hell breaks loose.  The guitar, bass and drums unleash holy melodic metal hell in true Royal Hunt style.

The second of the seven minute plus tracks is up next, this is where the band showcases it's clever arrangement as we mix a little jazz infusion with the more symphonic metal.  This is a really funky track that ebbs and flows like no other, it has a dark edge while still retaining a great melodic feel, again it's all down to those clever arrangements.

The more traditional lovers of symphonic drive metal will just love ‘A Tear In The Rain’.  This is the best example of Cooper’s expanded vocal range.  A real powerhouse from one and all on this one.  The tempo is brought down a touch with the 'Until The Day’, then it's full speed ahead once more with the stunning folk/metal infused ‘Riches To Rags’.

The band bring a real modern metal vibe with excellent ‘Way Too Late’, before rounding things off with the shortest track off the album 'How Do You Know’.  A real classy mid-tempo slice of Melodic Metal to round off another great Royal Hunt opus.  It may be only eight tracks long, but each and every track is a killer and when they are all this good, you don’t need any fillers.

Review by: Barry McMinn



1. So Right So Wrong 
2. May You Never (Walk Alone) 
3. Heart On A Platter 
4. A Tear In The Rain 
5. Until The Day 
6. Riches To Rags 
7. Way Too Late 
8. How Do You Know  


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