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Royal Hunt
May 2016
Released: 2016, Frontiers Records
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Waspman

Progressive hard rockers Royal Hunt have been on a roll since reuniting with vocalist D.C. Cooper in 2011. Since that time the band has released three excellent albums that rival the best work the band has ever done, proving they still have plenty of energy left in the tank. Since the release of 2015’s XII: DEVIL’S DOZEN album, the band played a number of high profile festival gigs, one of which, 2015’s ProgPower USA was captured for the release of this double disc live album, CARGO.

Believe it or not, it’s actually been over ten years since Royal Hunt last released a live record, closing out their John West years back in 2005. It’s actually been a whopping 18 years since they last released a live album with Cooper on vocals, so it’s definitely a good time for this release. That said, the track list is both excellent and a little disappointing. It’s twelve lengthy tracks spread over two discs, and eight of the songs are the PARADOX album in full. For the other four songs we get one from each of the last three albums with Cooper, plus a meagre one track from the West catalogue (“The Mission”); nothing from the Boals or Brockmann eras. I know PARADOX is the band’s high-water mark album and it IS cool to hear it all in a live setting, it’s just unfortunate that they didn’t have time to really let loose and perform another 5 – 8 songs from their catalogue.

But enough whining, CARGO is a phenomenal live album no matter the tracks. The band’s performance is spot-on, Cooper’s vocals sound amazing, the overall sound is clear, and the ProgPower crowd’s response is appropriately enthusiastic. The fiery take on “May You Never Walk Alone” is worth the price of admission alone, being superior to the already great studio version. The musicianship on display throughout the album is top-notch, which makes CARGO an effortlessly enjoyable album. This is a must have release for Royal Hunt fans.
Track Listing

Disc 1:
1. The Mission
2. Half Past Loneliness
3. The Awakening
4. River of Pain
5. Tearing Down the World
6. Message to God
7. Long Way Home

Disc 2:
1. Time Will Tell
2. Silent Scream
3. It’s Over
4. May You Never Walk Alone
5. A Life to Die For


D.C. Cooper: Vocals
Jonas Larsen: Guitar
Andre Andersen: Keyboards
Andreas Passmark: Bass
Andreas Johansson: Drums



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