Released: 2011, Frontiers
The veteran Danish progressive/power metal band return with their 11th studio album, but by far the biggest news is the return of D.C. Cooper, the American singer that came on board for two of the bands biggest albums in the mid 90s. Like most bands that have endured for 20 years, the lineup has been shuffled to the point of no longer resembling the original, but the band has continued to release quality albums even though none ever matched the brilliance of MOVING TARGET and PARADOX.
Happily, the band has recaptured their fire along with much of their classic sound. For those fearing a full blown retro visit to the glory days, the modern elements are still present, making this one of the most complete and focused Royal Hunt albums in many a year. The album was recorded at North Point Studios in Denmark and released on the Italian label Frontier Records. SHOW ME HOW TO LIVE is a relatively compact seven tracks clocking in around 42 minutes featuring the amazing musicianship and songwriting expected from Andre Andersen. “Another Man Down” is as fine a track as the band has ever written, punctuated by the catchy chorus and kick ass vocals from Cooper. The title track is also destined to be one of the bands classics, a perfect blend of guitar, keyboards, and vocals that illustrate the classic Royal Hunt sound of drama and pomposity. It is, in a word, memorable.
The lush arrangements, powerful production, and the return of Cooper make this a mandatory album for fans of Royal Hunt, most particularly, the fans that were on board from the start. The compact running time is also one of the best decisions the band has made and the album towers above other recent releases in progressive metal because of this. Listeners that have never heard the band but enjoy Dream Theater and Rhapsody of Fire should find SHOW ME HOW TO LIVE an album to uphold as a worthy addition to the progressive metal genre in the year of 2011 AD. A damn fine album.