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                                                                                                               Royal Hunt
                                                                                                               Title: Dystopia
                                                                                                               Label: NorthPoint Productions
                                                                                                               Release date: December 18,

                                                                                           and on December 9 via King Records (Japan/SE Asia) 
"Dystopia" is Royal Hunts 15th release and is a concept album offering a considerable expansion of the band's trademark sound and featuring performances by guest vocalists Mats Leven (Candlemass, TSO, Skyblood), Mark Boals (Y.J. Malmsteen, Ring Of Fire), Henrik Brockman (Royal Hunt, Evil Masquerade, N'Tribe), Kenny Lubcke (Narita, Zoser Mez) and Alexandra Andersen (Royal Hunt, JSP).  
Drawing inspiration from Fahrenheit 451  a novel by American writer Ray Bradbury,  this release tells the story of a future American society where books are outlawed and "firemen" burn any that are found.  The story is told and worked magnificently on this release and draws the listener in and has you transfixed throughout this film score masterpiece.

Opening with sirens, gasping, and orchestral lights this release starts its epic journey with "Inception" an intense build-up of massive symphonic proportions as "Burn" scolds and ignites your soul, with its soaring guitars, orchestrations, and towering Vocals from DC Cooper this track is pure unbridled exhilaration as Royal Hunt stamp their mark on this year of insanity and in some respects you can draw some parallels to the concept of this work to the world we now live in. 
There is an air of grandeur about this work of art you wouldn't have heard in a long time from this genre of Metal. No more so than on "The Art of Dying and "I used to walk alone" which are both major highlights on here. I love Mats Leven's involvement on the previous track and Alexandra Andersens soaring Vocals on "I used to walk alone", its magical effects send shivers through your being. "The Eye of Oblivion" is full to the brim of grandiloquent tones scorching Guitars, smoking Basslines with stampeding Drums make it a progressive Metal Monstrosity. "Eye of Oblivion" has more punch than Tyson Fury, it's fast and furious and travels into the night skies as "Hound of The Damned" rocks up next, the
masterclass in progressive, symphonic musicianship continues to leave you in awe. After a stunning orchestral piece, we glide into "Black Butterflies" a roller coaster ride of varying heights and emotions its splendor and glorious tones hypnotize one. "Snake Eyes" takes a different direction and will surprise many it's special as is this whole work, and concludes with another orchestral piece.

So in a world where a virus has destroyed lives and living in what could possibly be series one in the pandemic box set we get a Concept Album of massive proportions which is easily one of the Albums of the year here at The Metal Gods Meltdown, this is a killer release that bewitches and delivers on all fronts. Get some "Dystopia" in your life, it's the cure to the world's ills!

Review: Seb Di Gatto  Score: 10/10
Reviewed: 25/11/2020

1. Inception F451
2. Burn
3. The Art Of Dying
4. I Used To Walk Alone
5. The Eye Of Oblivion
6. Hound Of The Damned
7. The Missing Page (Intermission I)
8. Black Butterflies
9. Snake Eyes
10. Midway (Intermission II)

DC Cooper (v)
Jonas Larsen (g)
André Andersen (k)
Andreas Passmark (b)
Andreas Johansson (d)



The Metal Gods Meltdown

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