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Royal Hunt: Collision Course-Paradox II

Denmark's Royal Hunt are at it again, this time around with a new singer in Mark Boals (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, Ring of Fire), who replaces John West, and a continuation of the Paradox saga, one of their most respected works, in the form of Collision Course-Paradox II. Nowadays, it's not uncommon for bands to create sequels to concept albums, so keyboard wiz Andre Andersen and his group of merry men should be no exception. All the bombast & passion you would normally expect from Royal Hunt is here, Boals fitting in quite well actually, as the band churns out ten tracks of melodic, symphonic, progressive metal.

Rounding out the band here are guitarist Marcus Jidell, Allan Sorensen on drums, and bassist Per Schelander. In addition, there are a host of guest vocalists who helped with the CD, including Ian Parry, Doogie White, and a few others. Some additional musicians adding violin, cello, and woodwinds add to the epic scope of the album. Huge beds of orchestral keyboards, searing guitar work, and Boals' histrionic vocals take tracks like "The First Rock", "Exit Wound", and "The Clan" to grand and powerful places, while "Divide and Reign" and "Tears of the Sun" are just majestic examples of classy progressive metal, featuring plenty of complex instrumental bits, haunting melodies, and strong vocals. Speaking of vocals, if anyone wondered how much Mark Boals had left in him (let's face it, the guy has sort of been out of the spotlight for a while), check out his soaring pipes on "Hostile Breed", where he gets in some Halford/Owens/King Diamond type upper register screams amidst his more mid-range melodic style, showing he can still hang with the big boys of the metal world. Jidell also really shines on this one with some tasty neo-classical shredding.

Since we weren't supplied with lyrics, I can't tell you much about the storyline here other than this time around, it concentrates on a "collision course between the ways of the modern Western world and new breed of culture grown on Eastern religious movements." Royal Hunt fans will no doubt be ready to soak this all up, a new chapter in the history of the band, as they take a new step forward with new singer Boals and a continuation of the Paradox saga.


Track Listing
1) Principles of Paradox
2) The First Rock
3) Exit Wound
4) Divide and Reign
5) High Noon at the Battlefield
6) The Clan
7) Blood In Blood Out
8) Tears of the Sun
9) Hostile Breed
10) Chaos A. C.

Added: April 30th 2008
Reviewer: Peter Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Royal Hunt Website
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