[Review] Royal Hunt – Dystopia part 2

Sixteenth album for Danish band Royal Hunt, veterans of the Melodic Progressive Metal sound. Titled “Dystopia part 2,” it continues the concept started with the previous one, taking inspiration from Ray Bradbury‘s “Fahreneit 451.” “Midway” is a 1:20 introductory track that leads us into the album with an orchestral background. Interweaving orchestrations on keyboards and powerful guitar riffs open “Thorn in My Heart,” characterised by a gritty, pulled rhythm. The warm and expressive vocals enter after a one-minute intro, alternating with the pompous choral openings, where the orchestrations stand out. The interweaving vocals dynamically interpret the lyrics, while the guitar and keyboard work offer very refined melodic solutions. Tempo changes provide power thanks to a rhythm section that alternates between accelerated and elaborate parts. In the middle section, the guitar and keyboards duet in a technical and virtuoso solo that enhances the band’s compositional and performing class. After a short orchestral insert, the song starts off again showing the band’s Power/Prog attitude with an outstanding vocal. The following “The Key of Insanity” opens with powerful guitar riffs and a darker sound, characterised by continuous tempo changes and a more progressive imprinting. The vocals alternate between more agressive, choral and melodic parts, giving the band numerous solutions, which also exploit electronic inserts in the rhythm, giving a very modern touch to the sound. In the instrumental section, the band creates a very intricate sound with the guitar taking centre stage with a very technical solo. The vocals return for the last verses and the song closes in a musical crescendo. “Live Another Day” opens with electronic keyboard sounds, to which is added solid drumming and deep, harbouring bass lines. Markedly progressive, this track shows a more modern facet of the band’s sound, without losing their distinctive traits. A mixture of melodic traits in both music and vocals, alternating between more aggressive and powerful passages. Intense and enriched by choral refrains that stick in the mind, it shows the softer side of the band’s sound, without losing quality in the composition and with high-level ideas. “The Purge” opens with violin and orchestrations joining scratchy guitar riffs and a gritty rhythm section. A very technical and virtuosic passage of the album, where the band offers a perfect blend of Progressive and Power Metal with guitar and keyboard interlacing of the highest level. Heavy riffs and orchestrations characterise the intro of “One More Shot” developed between tempo changes and energetic, intertwining vocals. A bombastic track that combines melodic traits with more heavy ones, resulting engaging and elaborate at the same time. Again, the choral vocal parts linger in the mind for a long time, while in the second part an instrumental section offers excellent solo guitar work first and then keyboard. The album’s longest track “Scream of Anger” is an epic over 14 minutes long, beginning with an orchestral intro. The first part of the track is instrumental and shows off all the technique at the instruments of this band, between virtuoso keyboard and guitar solos, while the rhythm section is full of tempo changes. In this first section, the band touches on all the styles that make up the facets of their sound. At the five-minute mark, the vocalist enters, always very dynamic in interpreting the lyrics and the various changes in the piece with intensity. A succession of instrumental sections and vocal parts make this track one of the best suites in metal in recent years, with accelerations, solos and refined, high-level passages. Pine notes and a warm, expressive vocal open “Left in the Wind” characterised in the first part by a dreamy atmosphere. Combining modern sounds with a melodic metal imprint, it is a very intense track that has its strengths in the songwriting and the dual male-female vocals as well as in the instrumental parts that are more linear but full of pathos. The concluding “Resurrection F451” is a short track that combines metal traits with orchestrations, leaving us with a feeling of hope that permeates the sound, as in the novel’s rescue of the survivors in the reconstruction. A very intense listen from start to finish, another excellent chapter in the band’s discography. Alternating Progressive Metal passages with melodic ones, passing through Symphonic Power, this album is engaging, technical and very intense from beginning to end. A recommended listen for all lovers of the Royal Hunt sound, a band that proves to be one of the cornerstones of the Metal panorama.


01. Midway (1:20)
02. Thorn in My Heart (8:39)
03. The Key of Insanity (6:02)
04. Live Another Day (8:58)
05. The Purge (3:48)
06. One More Shot (7:15)
07. Scream of Anger (14:08) :
– a) Hit and Run
– b) The Thrill of the Chase
8. Left in the Wind (7:11)
09. Resurrection F451 (1:30)


André Andersen / Keyboards
D.C. Cooper / Vocals
Andreas Passmark / Bass
Jonas Larsen / Guitars
Andreas “Habo” Johansson / Drums

Mats Levén
/ Vocals (3)
Mark Boals / Vocals (6)
Henrik Brockmann / Vocals (6,8)
Kenny Lübcke / Vocals (6,7) Backing Vocals
Alexandra Andersen / vocals (2,8) backing vocals

Royal Hunt |Official Website|Facebook Page|Twitter|YouTube Channel|

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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