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Royal Hunt
20th Anniversary
February 2013
Released: 2012, Frontiers
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

Early in the year can be a bit of a slower time for releases and I’m going to take the time to get through a bit of a backlog of five releases that in my estimation are not quite as important, but still worth discussing for the fans. I’m speaking specifically of a batch of five, double-disc compilations (Collections, Greatest Hits, Best of’s, contractual obligation albums, whatever you want to call them) by some veteran Metal bands; specifically Angra, Circle II Circle, Evergrey, Fair Warning and Royal Hunt. I’ll be blunt, I only have the digital copies of these collections. Everyone knows the true value of these types of collections is found in the presentation (packaging, essays, liner notes, photos etc) and of course, the amount of rare or unreleased material such has new songs, live songs, rare songs, bonus videos or even DVD’s. So, in one sense, these quick reviews are incomplete, public service announcements because I’m only basing these reviews on the digital copies. Please enjoy all the five reviews in this mini-feature but take into account my rating is not necessarily just for the music but the execution of what is essentially re-releasing old songs.



Royal Hunt is a good example of how territorial licensing deals can lead to a glut of product on the market. Royal Hunt now has seven, yes seven compilations on the market and this is the second Royal Hunt comp released in 2012. The band is legendary for it’s very confusing discography, with various reissues and Japanese collections that mix parts of other discs together and give it a new name and covert art! This latest one is the Frontiers version celebrating the bands 20th Anniversary in a big four-disc set. It’s pretty sweet running at 33 cuts. Disc one covers the first four albums aka the DC Cooper years. The second disc covers the next seven albums. Disc Three is the cool stuff and Disc Four is a DVD. 20TH ANNIVERSARY is comprehensive and looks good and runs chronologically. For fans this is one of the better collections and Disc Three is the highlight. It includes a new, unreleased song called ‘Save Me’. There are also three live unplugged songs. ‘One By One’ (Acoustic) seems to be an unreleased track probably recorded around the LAND OF BROKEN HEARTS era but never made it onto THE MAXI EP which had other acoustic cuts from that album. ‘Bodyguard’ (Acoustic) also seems to be an unreleased song likely recorded during the CLOWN IN THE MIRROR session and never made it onto the FAR AWAY EP with the other acoustic songs. I’m not sure where the song ‘Restless’(Acoustic) comes from at all but originally the regular version was a bonus song from the PARADOX sessions. Then there are five cuts that are bonus tracks from various international pressings. It’s nice to have all of that on one place on one disc. It is by far the most worthwhile and valuable disc in the collection.



The track breakdown is as follows.



LAND OF BROKEN HEARTS (3 songs)

THE MAXI EP (1 song)

CLOWN IN THE MIRROR (3 songs)

FAR AWAY EP (1 song)

MOVING TARGET (2 songs)

PARADOX (3 songs)

FEAR (2 songs)

INTERVENTION EP (1 song)

THE MISSION (2 songs)

EYE WITNESS (2 songs)

PAPER BLOOD (2 songs)

PARADOX II (2 songs)

X (3 songs)

SHOW ME HOW TO LIVE (2 songs)



Plus the aforementioned four unreleased songs. 20TH ANNIVERSARY is really well done and has enough new and rare material to entice any fan. It’s well-designed and comprehensive. Well done!
Track Listing

Disc One

01. Flight
02. Kingdom Dark
03. Stranded
04. Clown In The Mirror
05. Wasted Time
06. Epilogue; Time
07. Far Away
08. 1348
09. River Of Pain
10. Tearing Down The World
11. Message To God

Disc Two

01. Cold City Lights
02. Follow Me
03. Surrender
04. The Mission -
05. Can't Let Go
06. Paper Blood
07. Season's Change
08. The First Rock
09. Tears Of The Sun
10. The Well
11. Shadowman
12. Hard Rain´s Coming
13. Half Past Loneliness

Disc Three

01, Save Me (New Song)
02. One By One (Unplugged)
03, Bodyguard (Unplugged)
04. Restless (Unplugged)
05. Bad Luck
06. Double Conversion
07. U-turn
08. Sixth Sense
09. Day Is Dawning

Disc Four / DVD

01. Land of Broken Hearts
02. Day In Day Out
03. Clown In The Mirror
04. Far Away
05. Last Goodbye
06. Stay Down
07. River Of Pain
08. Tearing Down The World
09. Martial Arts
10. Third Stage
11. Wasted Time
12. Interview
13. Message To God

Lineup

Various


Next review: » Sacred Steel - The Bloodshed Summoning
Previous review: » Rotting Away - Rise From Decay (Demo)





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