Royal Hunt - The Mission

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Frontiers
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 51:55:00

The term "Big in Japan" suddenly comes to mind when I sit here reviewing Danish band Royal Hunt's 6th album. Alongside a handful of other bands, Royal Hunt is one of a few bands that REALLY deserve to be credited with that term and with The Mission there is no doubt they will be crowned as kings in Japan at the end of the 2001.

The Mission is a concept album based on the SciFi novel by Ray Bradbury The Martian Chronicles. The musical recipe is a little bit different this time around as they include short interludes between the "main" songs. The guitars are cranked up being more present than on the previous albums which result in a slightly heavier sound picture. The keyboards are tuned down a bit, but yet being very important, serving its purpose in the bands sound. It seems Andre Andersen (k) has been more open for change (or progress if you may) this time around and he seems more inspired than in a long time. He is bringing forth lots of new fresh sounds and ideas and it works out wonderfully. Of course, the rest of the rhythm section need no further introduction and they play skillfully and solid as always. John West (v) really shines on this album and it certainly seems he has come into his own right here. Perhaps his best performance ever.

The album is very even and chock full of great catchy songs. The sound is melodic heavy, with symphonic, classical and progressive elements thrown in. Tracks like the title track, "Surrender," "Judgment Day," "World Wide War," and "Out Of Reach" are some of the best songs Royal Hunt has ever done. The album is topped by a brilliant crisp production and I can do nothing but take my hat off for this band as The Mission has become a sterling album. Only one thing keeps me for giving The Mission full score and that is if we look beyond the short interludes, the album only has 7 full songs. It wouldn't hurt if we were offered a couple more full tracks. Then again, Royal Hunt has made an album that leaves you begging for more and only a special album can give you that feeling.

This is another highlight in this bands impressive career. Get it at all costs.

[This review originally appeared June 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Take Off / The Mission / Exit Gravity / Surrender / Clean Sweep / Judgement Day / Metamorphosis / World Wide War / Dreamline / Out Of Reach / Fourth Dimension / Days Of No Trust / Total Recall

Andre Andersen - keyboards
Steen Mogensen - bass
John West - vocals
Jacob Kjaer - guitar

Additional Musicians:

Maria McTurk - backing vocals
Kenny Lubcke - backing vocals
Kenneth Olsen - drums
Kim Johanneson - drums

Land Of The Broken Hearts (1992)
Clown In The Mirror (1993)
The Maxi EP (1993)
Moving Target (1995)
Far Away (ep) (1995)
Live 1996 (1996)
Double Live In Japan (1996)
Paradox (1997)
Closing The Chapter (1998)
Fear (1999)
The Mission (2001)
The Watchers (2002)
Eyewitness (2003)
Paper Blood (2005)
Live 2006 (2006) Paradox II: Collision Course (2008)
X (2010)
Show Me How To Live (2011)
A Life To Die For (2013)
Devil's Dozen (2015)

Live 2006 (DVD) (2006)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin DK

Added: February 19th 2005
Reviewer: Bjørnar Bevolden
Artist website:
Hits: 876
Language: english


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