Reviews from December/99
couple of years ago Royal Hunt was "Prügelknabe" in danish newspapers
- no one thought that this band with the very non-scandinavian attitude
in both personal and musical direction would have a chance in foreign countries.
They had skipped their original danish singer in favour of D.C. Cooper
with the very very very american attitude, and many saw this as
an absolute crime of passion. But after records like "Moving Target" ('95),
"Paradox" ('97) and succes in Japan I guess the doubt of Royal Hunt as
a serious act is vanished.
Now they are back after the sacking of D.C. Cooper and no one less
than John West (Badlands, Artension, Malmsteen) could fill out his
shoes. What D.C. had in showmanship Mr. West has in singing - I was absolutely
blown away by his powerfull and strong voice. It really suits the bombastic,
dramatic and high tensed arrangements of keyboard-virtuos André
Andersen - just like Ian Gillan suits Deep Purple or Robert Plant suits
This time the bands main-man André has taken fully control
and have produces this 50 minutes long epic effort with a little help from
Lars Overgaard (D.A.D) and Jan Eliasson (Skagarack, Aces High) in the mixing
and mastering. "Fear" allows the musical ideas to breath, and espescially
guitarist Jacob Kjær get some air, and there is are slow passages
as well as straight-forward heavy on this release, all genres played with
authority and style - and not splashed by keyboards on every occasion.
Outstanding tracks are: The over 9 minutes long titletrack, "Lies"
with the straight forward attitude of the mid 80's and the very beautiful
For those who once doubted the qualities of this Danish-american
outfit, they may now speak or forever hold their tonques!!
Heart is at one time very German - and then again, they are very international.
On this their fourth effort vocalist Michael Bormann and Co. is a step
further than their previous works. The album starts off with a very pompy
symphonic track "Live and let die" with a very large children-choir intro
- a very catchy tune too!! Jaded once won a cover-contest on the German
TV-station RTL with a version of Bon Jovi's "Wanted dead or alive" and
on this one they have two covers included. First one is a very powerful
edition of the Rainbow classic "Stonecold" - and from time to time Michael
Bormann reminds me of a young Joe Lynn Turner - good choice. No wonder that he replaced Claus Lessmann in Bonfire for a short while.
The other cover is a bit more strange - because I never would have
thought that a hardrock band could cover Phil Collins! But never the less
Jaded Heart kickstarts "Easy lover" into a a very cool track.
The album lasts over 60 minutes and covers a large spectre of genres
and moods - from pomp to ballads "Way back Home", and from emotion to plain
and "simple" hardrock, but all track are very well played by competent
players Michael Müller (bass), Axel Kruse (drums), Chris Ivo (keyboards)
and Barish Kepic (guitars) and very good produced by Axe-frontman Bobby
Barth in the NEH studios in Denver Colorado. And this gives this release
a very international sound and gives it a bit more air than Partners in
crime Axxis, Heavens Gate and other german bands in the same genre.
My favorite track is "When you hear the Thunder" - a very complex
song that combines all the positive qualities in Jaded Heart, large production,
a cathy guitar hook, exceptional vocals, outstanding guitarwork and an
african/arabic influenced outro - one the best releases this year. I hope
the band come a bit further in popularity this time, the Japs has already
seen their qualities - now it's your turn.
a mix of Dream Theatre, Saga and Pendragon. If you can - you might like
this young swedish outfit. They are young with all the + and - it gives.
On the positive side they have a lot of ideas and joy by playing, you can
actually hear that they like to do experiments and challenge all genres
like jazz, salza, heavy and progressive. All tracks well produced an performed
by A.C.T. At their best a track like "Personalities" with it's 7 sub-tracks
could be compared with Pink Floyd - with a dominating keyboard, a high
pitched voice and bass/drum-extravaganza.
On the negative side it's very difficult for me to cope all these
ideas in so little space - a track like "Waltz with Mother Nature" is such
a track - 1000 of musical ideas in less than 13 minutes.
I think the guys in Saga made a big mistake by letting these guys
down - they were meant to be opening act for the Canadian masters on several
concerts but.. Because I really think these 5 guys from Västerås
in Sweden will get their act (laugh, laugh) together in the next couple
of years, and then we can talk ....