ROYAL HUNT - 2006 Live
SCORE - 80%
Royal Hunt’s new “live” album features 15 tracks and 90 minutes of music over the two discs.
But what is on offer is pretty good stuff, even if it the release is aimed squarely at established Royal Hunt fans.
The tracks picked concentrate on the John West era of the band, with a few old classics thrown in for good measure. West covers those as he does everything – with gusto.
He is one hell of a singer and I enjoy everything he appears on.
This live set also features new members Kenneth Olsen (drums), Per Schelander (bass) and Marcus Jidell (guitars). The band doesn’t skip a beat, with mainstay Andre Andersen still running the show.
Recording quality is very good, although a little on the raw side, which I state as a positive, as I hate polished and overdubbed live albums, unless that is part of a concept.
So, the record feels nice and live and there is plenty of energy coming through the speakers, helped by an enthusiastic audience. The show was recorded/filmed at St. Petersburg’s Music Hall in Russia – new frontiers for the band that has been going well over a decade now.
Then there is the DVD. Film quality is good – the new line-up of Royal Hunt can be seen enjoying themselves and hammering out the classics. It is a solid live show and decent quality DVD release. By now most will be aware that I had reservations about the lead vocals – not the quality of them – but the fact that the pictures are sometimes out of sync with the audio coming through. That lead me to believe that perhaps they were fixed after the fact – it happens all the time, but in this case John West personally guarantees that everything you hear is 100% live, which is why he should be applauded for a great performance, and why I enjoyed the CD as much as I did.
I still have an issue with the out of sync pictures, which for me does take away from the overall enjoyment of the DVD portion of this live release. I will stick to the CD when I need a fix. I know some fans agree with me on this and some others disagree strongly. It will come down to personal taste as to whether these few problems take away from the release, but it remains a quality performance by the band