XIII-Devil’s Dozen

At the time, we were celebrating the twelfth release of the musical brainchild of Andre Andersen—“Royal Hunt”, a group that I have listened to and admired since their beginning in 1989.  Just over two years ago, I was able to catch up with Mr. Andersen for the following interview, in which we dealt with then new album-“A Life To Die For”.  We spoke of expanding the boundaries, melting classical and modern musical signatures-but still staying on top of the Metal Mountain.  So, first here is a recap of that interview, and the Review of that very album:

Bruce Atkinson: Andre, when we talked last, “Show Me How To Live” was just about to be released. You were re-united with DC Cooper and he returns on this new work. Going into this session, were you more comfortable in what you were about to create, knowing that you were about to expand the boundaries?

Andre Andersen: I´d say so as it´s always easier to work with the stable line-up: you know what to expect from people, you know their strong sides and general preferences.

BA: Speaking of expanding the boundaries, you are taking the group to a higher level, with expressing yourself more completely in the symphonic area.  Any unique challenges in this regard?

AA: The main one being working with classical musicians and incorporating them into our songs/arrangements; some things just took more time to achieve.

BA: When composing, I know that you keep in mind that the members of Royal Hunt are their own musical personality. How do you accomplish maintaining yours and their musical personalities in the finished creation?

AA: It´s a natural situation for me: I write as I always do and as I´m starting with arrangements I penning everybody´s parts according to their preferences (which I know pretty well by now). Of course we´ll change some bits here and there while recording in order to fit everybody´s style even better, but so far – nothing major.

BA: In our last interview, Andre, you identified a Vision that you and the group have held for several years. Are you still holding to that Vision, or have you found it a tad more difficult in our trying times?

AA: It´s getting harder every year, but look at us today: new album, new tour… We´re still around.

BA: Again, with this album… There are of course, some very strong lyrical statements, including the title of the album itself: “A Life To Die For”. Do you find it harder writing, or are the times we live in stand as a source of inspiration?

AA: The inspiration is everywhere, you just have to look for it… a book, a movie, a headline in the newspaper, a personal event – there´re plenty of issues to be inspired by.

As mentioned in the above interview Andre Andersen continued to work on the Vision he had and still has for “Royal Hunt”…and “A Life To Die For” is a recorded testament to the success he has had.

ROYAL HUNT - A Life to Die For

(Frontiers Records)

The twelfth studio album from perhaps the best Symphonic Melodic rock ensemble: Royal Hunt’s “A Life to Die For” is just that, music to die for! It begins with the paradoxical “Hell Comes Down From Heaven” and epically takes off from there! A complete lyrical & musical masterstroke from Andre Andersen and friends. This five piece have outdone themselves, and I think I said that in my review of

their “Show Me How To Live” opus, but this time they absolutely have! It doesn’t matter if we are talking about Jonas’ guitars, the pounding yet melodic Bass of Andreas’ or Allan’s precise and hard

hitting percussion… Andre & DC Cooper are surrounded by a magnificent team of players. Twelve, historically a number that represents completeness and fullness… Royal Hunt’s twelfth studio expression is utterly complete & with musical excursions that are full to the brim! Bruce Atkinson (91/100)


In last week’s column, I made mention of “Royal Hunt’s new upcoming release.  August will see the International release of “XIII-Devil’s Dozen”, and as we spoke of in the interview, Andre Andersen is still capable of creating magical potions from Classical, Symphonic Hard Rock and with hard hitting lyrical subject matter.  Each piece is  crafted, and he also holds his team together, with DC Cooper returning on Vocals and Jonas on guitars.  The new album promises to go a few steps further than “A Life To Die For”, and with twists in the musical stories.  Titles such as “Riches To Rags”, “So Right So Wrong”, and “A Tear In The Rain” should prepare you for some very exciting listening and thinking!

Yes, I’m proud to say I have a Review assignment for this the group’s thirteenth studio release, one that I’m looking forward to totally immersing myself in—but that is the only way you can listen to “Royal Hunt”—a Symphonic Metal group that are totally captivating!

Under The Lights
Upcoming Club/Concert Highlights:

The Blue Gator:    The Goods:  July 3rd & July 4th   Rumble 100:  July 9th   Uptown 10:  July 10th & July 11th  Zamboni Brothers:  July 16th  Jimmy LeGuilloux Band:  July 17th & 18th

The Barking Parrot (Penticton):  Bob Bricker-Joey Richards & Paul Gibbons:  July 1st  & July 2nd    Paul Gibbons:  July 4th

Dream Café:  Jim Byrnes:  July 10th & July 11th

Fernando’s Pub:  Dead Fibres/Father’s Lungs/Sugar Coated Killers:  July 8th   Drew Rouse:  July 11th                 Surf Dads:  July 14th

Music In The Park (Riverside Park)  Highlighted Events—Kingpins: July 4th   Gary Comeau & Cannery Row:  July 5th  Mike MacKenzie Blues Band: July 9th  Wild T & The Spirit Blues:  July 14th (complete line-up under Castanet Events: Concerts)

OK Corral Night Club:  The Tumbling Dice:  July 3rd

O’Flannigan’s Pub:   Rumble 100:  July 3rd & July 4th

Notable Concerts:   

Prospera  Place:  Aerosmith:   July 13th  Dean Brody/Paul Brandt:  September 26th

South Okanagan Events Centre:   Journey:   July 10th   Brit Floyd:  (it is the closet to the real thing)   August 12th    “Weird Al” Yankovic:  September 9th    Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band-(featuring Todd Rundgren, Steve Lukather, Gregg Rolie plus others!!)   October 10th

   …if you have a musical story or news and would like me to write something… drop me a line at:  [email protected]  and let’s celebrate Kelowna’s rich and varied music community together!!.....


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About the Author

We call him the Professor of Rock: With a career in music, television and media arts spanning 30 years, Atkinson knows music. He's traveled as a professional musician and he loves Rock 'N Roll. He is a music journalist who writes internationally for Frontier Records' Melodic Rock magazine and he owns FBA International a multifaceted management, consulting, promotional entity.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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