Royal Hunt - Paradox II - Collision Course
InsideOut Music
Prog Melodic & Symphonic Metal
10 songs ()
Release year: 2008
Royal Hunt website, InsideOut Music
Reviewed by Chris
Album of the month
I first discovered Royal Hunt through the maginificent album Paradox, it grabbed be from the first listen and has been a classic of mine since then. So I was quite happy when I heard the news of a second Paradox on the way. But I was also skeptical, cause many bands have added numeric digits behind a classic of their discography just to release a dud that had nothing or very little to do with the original (Gamma Ray's Land of The Free 2 or Rhapsody' Symphony of Enchanted Lands II). So were my fear confirmed ?

Absolutely not, Royal Hunt promised a Paradox II and that's exactly what we get. The sound and the mood of the original is respected throughout the album (with a better & bigger production to boot), and even though DC Cooper isn't at the vocals for that second incarnation, Mark Boals delivers an impressive display of vocal talent that suits Royal Hunt like a glove. Cause let's be honest, at first listen I thought to myself : ok,  without DC Cooper its not the same. Well that impression only lasted during the first couple of listens and then was replaced by the owe of listening to such a masterpiece album that totally succeded in what it had set to achieve : bring us a worthy successor of the first masterpiece that Paradox was. The guitars riffs and solos, the keys, the vocal melodies, everything is truly majestic and reminisscant of the original. You would hardly believe that there's been 11 years in between those two albums.  Now on the vocals, I never ticked with tha band when John West replaced DC Cooper, and while I appreciated Mission for a little while and reviewed it, it never ever again went back to my cd player and Royal Hunt faded away from a band that I loved to a band I never listen to anymore. But Paradox II Collision Course changed that. Its funny but I didn't like Mark Boals in his other projects so much (maybe cause usually its Neo-Classical Metal and most of this sub-genre tends to bore me to death nowadays), and yet I think he fits the position perfectly in Royal Hunt. I really hope he stays their lead singer for years to come. Vocal melodies in this album are simple then awesome and very moody, as is almost every other part of the sound; guitars are either crying or punching holes through your mind with the delivery of great riffing, while the piano adds its touch of mood along with violins and other keys elements (all of them sounding just like they did in the first Paradox) all add their little magic touch to the overall dramatic and symphonic feel of the album. The album alternates mid-tempo with faster more bombastic songs, all of them having the progressive elements and breaks that made the first Paradox such a treat to listen to. There isn't a single boring moment on this album, it starts with a nice (and long) intro and kicks-in with a killer song (The First Rock) and then ends with brio with an awesome tune that makes you long for more. Maybe we'll see a Paradox III one day, who knows. As long as its made as brilliantly as this one, Royal Hunt can line up this types of album as much as they can / want, I personnaly wouldn't mind.

If you loved the first Paradox album, then there is very little doubt you'll fall in love with this one in an instant. Again I must thank Royal Hunt for not using the name Paradox in a vain attempt to cash in on the name like so many bands did before. Instead Royal Hunt are back with their A-game and delivered an album that probably very little were expecting to be so high in quality, the least of which myself. An incredible surprise, and a real tour de force brings this album to the stratosphere. A clear candidate for album of the year. If you don't know Royal Hunt, then this would be a perfect album to start discovering this highly talented Melodic Prog Metal band. All hails Royal Hunt and thank you for magnificent Paradox II !

Killing Songs :
All, but my favorites are The First Rock, Exit Wound, Divide and Reign, Tears of The Sun, Hostile Breed and Chaos A.C.
Chris quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Royal Hunt that we have reviewed:
Royal Hunt - Dystopia reviewed by Alex and quoted 88 / 100
Royal Hunt - Devils Dozen reviewed by Alex and quoted 84 / 100
Royal Hunt - A Life to Die For reviewed by Alex and quoted 90 / 100
Royal Hunt - Show Me How to Live reviewed by Alex and quoted 84 / 100
Royal Hunt - X reviewed by Erik and quoted 79 / 100
To see all 10 reviews click here
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