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Royal Hunt
XII: Devil's Dozen
September 2015
Released: 2015, Frontiers Records
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Waspman

DEVIL’S DOZEN is the thirteenth album out (thus the album title) for Royal Hunt, and the fifth with vocalist D.C. Cooper who has now officially recorded more albums with the band since reuniting than he did in his original tour of duty with the group (’95-’98). Of course, Andre Andersen remains the heart & soul of the band, which has remained stable since 2011 with the exception of adding new drummer Andreas Johansson this time around.



It’s safe to say that Royal Hunt established their neoclassical power metal/rock sound years ago and haven’t really varied from it since, and DEVIL’S DOZEN is proof of this. The eight cuts offered up this time don’t stray far from the formula established with the Cooper’s first time out back in 1995, MOVING TARGET. That said, this doesn’t mean that the band is stagnant – far from it as electrifying songs like “Way Too Late” easily prove!



For my money, this album is one of the strongest of the band’s career without a single weak song being offered – fans of the band will eagerly eat this up. Andersen’s keyboards are still front and centre in the band’s sound but Jonas Larsen’s guitars are only slightly behind. Vocally, D.C. Cooper is still the incredible vocalist he’s always been, putting in yet another charismatic performance that shows he’s lost nothing as he moves into his 50s.



Although my personal favorite songs are the opening stomper “So Right, So Wrong” and the closing pair (particularly the bonus cut “How Do You Know”), every single song on this album is worthy of the Royal Hunt name. This band has been on fire over their last couple of releases and there’s definitely no letting up in this DEVIL’S DOZEN!
Track Listing

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

Lineup

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

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