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Royal Hunt
A Life To Die For
January 2014
Released: 2013, Frontiers
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Erich

Twenty plus years now into their career, André Andersen and company continue to champion the cause of progressive power metal. A LIFE TO DIE FOR is the band’s 12th studio album and 2nd consecutive with vocalist D.C. Cooper, a man whose presence has undeniably invigorated and inspired the band. The new album is a bit of a quick hitter, containing seven tunes less than 50 minutes and each one is noteworthy. Combined with the bands aptitude for writing melodic and catchy tunes are symphonic elements and Cooper’s wide-ranging vocals all captured in dynamic clarity and backed by all the resources of Frontiers Records.

A LIFE TO DIE FOR is a combination of past and present, and lead-off track “Hell Comes From Heaven” has all those elements, an epic that is the signature track of the album. The power of the orchestral elements is unmistakable and that is because they are not created by keyboards but by actual classical musicians in the studio as well as a choir. “A Bullet’s Tale” features an absolutely stunning guitar solo from Jonas Larsen and powerful vocals from Cooper. “Running Out Of Tears” has a cinematic quality to the opening and an almost poppy verse and chorus, making it perhaps the most accessible tune on the album. Riffs are abundant and addictive, as “One More Minute Left To Live” demonstrates. Overall, the album does not stray far from a mid-paced tempo, other than on the somewhat slowed down “Sign Of Yesterday.”

The production is among the best the band has ever had on an album, a clear sign that Frontiers threw their considerable weight behind this project. The choruses are memorable, the musicianship technical and inspiring. The orchestral elements are often balanced by strategic passages of galloping power metal which truly broadens the appeal of the album for those who are not all that familiar with Royal Hunt. I mean, it is all here for fans of the band and this style in all its bombastic and ambitious glory. Progressive power metal rarely gets better than this.
Track Listing

1. Hell Comes Down from Heaven

2. A Bullet's Tale

3. Running Out of Tears

4. One Minute Left to Live

5. Sign of Yesterday

6. Won't Trust, Won't Fear, Won't Beg

7. A Life to Die For


Andre Andersen - Keyboards
DC Cooper – Lead Vocals
Allan Sorensen –Drums
Andreas Passmark– Bass Guitar
Jonas Larsen – Lead Guitars

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