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Royal Hunt - Live 2006 (CD/DVD)

Royal Hunt
Live 2006 (DCD & DVD)
by Grigoris Chronis at 16 February 2007, 4:44 PM

S. Petersburg's Music Hall, November 2nd, 2005. Russia is cold, sooo cold. And Dannish (and Swedish and German) 'prog/pomp'-wise metallers ROYAL HUNT decide to film there their first ever Europe-available DVD (also recorded for a double CD issue…why do I have the urge to refer to the DVD primarily?), while beingi on the road for the Paper Blood album's promotion. How the hell can fans watch a Rock/Metal concert while seating in chairs, I always wonder…
ROYAL HUNT have so far preserved bringing on contradictual opininos regarding their 'lasting' repute. Even if they where considered to be the next 'big thing' in the 'experimenting' 90s - who can forget the huge success of collosal albums like Moving Target (1995) and Paradox (1997) - it seems that (in 'market' terms) the band lost credit after the departure of extraordinaire vocalist DC Cooper (now 'metal-ising up' with SILENT FORCE). Still, I don't think ROYAL HUNT have (or can) ever deliver a less-than-good studio album in their portfolio; be it the unique charisma of mainman/creator Andre Andersen (is he really a 'stiff' persona?) in songwriting his way, the overall magnifivent pompous production 'dressings' or the - anyway - AORish enough voice of John West (ex-ARTENSION), this band keeps its personal pace and (personally speaking) correctly still scores enough respect (at least).
(Both for the CD and DVD issue) the band's performans - as instrumentalists - is excellent. Clear vocals, dominant keys, a solid rhythm section and some applicable back-up choir singing is what ROYAL HUNT's into in this live gig. Newer members Marcus Jidell and Per Schelander fit like a glove and the 'bond' seems strong enough. The setlist ('slimmed' a little bit in the DVD format) consists of  songs form their entire career, even if some more tunes from Paradox would be deeply apreciated. Do not compare the setlist/perfromance with the great 1996 live release. Things have changed a lot since then…
The DVD release, in specific, sees a band playing in front of fans seated in a wonderful 'theater' place. The acoustics is great, while the fans themselves stand up more as time passes by. The stage is too big for the band, resulting in some lack of immminent 'band-fans' interaction. In addition, the band does not possess the 'live' feeling this much (bringing extra thinking on how '100% live' the album is) - for the average Metal fan. Still, they seem to enjoy what they're up to at the time. Not to forget: apart from a 20-minute bonus 'backstage' documentary, no more extra 'goodies' are included in the DVD disc. Bad enough…
ROYAL HUNT fans will like this live combo. It ensures the professionalism of this act plus it depicts the 'sonic' supremacy of Andre Andersen and Co. If the rest feel OK with this fact(s), go get the deal. Live 2006 is nothing less (or more) than a good release.

3 Star Rating

Disc 1

Paper Blood (CD1)
Time (CD1)
The Mission (CD1)
Never Give Up (CD1)
Can't Let Go (CD1)
Last Goodbye (CD1)
Follow Me (CD1)
Cold City Lights (CD1)
Martial Arts (CD2)
Surrender (CD2)
Running Wild (CD2)
Far Away (CD2)
Lies (CD2)
Wasted Time (CD2)
Message To God (CD2)
Epilogue (CD2)      
Long Way Home (bonus track) (CD2)

Disc 2

Paper Blood
The Mission
Never Give Up
Can't Let Go
Last Goodbye
Follow me
Cold City Lights
Martial Arts
Running Wild
Far Away
Wasted Time
Message To God
Bonus Material: Documentary
Andre Andersen - Keyborads
John West - Lead Vocals
Marcus Jidell - Guitars & Backing Vocals
Kenneth Olsen - Drums
Per Schelander - Bass & Backing Vocals
Maria McTurk - Backing Vocals


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