Heaven & Earth / Royal Hunt´s Fear +
Posted by: Steve, Denmark ()
Date: January 10, 2001 05:11AM

Just got back from an extended Christmas/New Year vacation...happy 2001 everyone! I got a lot of CDs while in the UK, expect a few contributions on old and new stuff.

Of which: unbeknown to me I picked up a pre-release promo copy of Heaven & Earth´s Windows To The World. I remember the first Stuart Smith album picked up rave reviews here, so took the chance. I have to say I´m pretty disappointed. I mean, the songs are actually quite good for what they are and Kelly Keeling sings his heart out, but it sounds so dated! If you think hard rock began and ended with Deep Purple then frankly this is for you. Although I personally don´t consider Stu to be half the guitarist that Blackmore is. Anyway I´ll give it another listen or two but I suspect that I´ll be quite happy to trade this for something else, if anyone is especially interested in having a promo copy of this item.

I also picked up Royal Hunt´s "Fear" CD - cheap too! Now when I asked you kind folks for recommendations of John West´s stuff, "Fear" was singled out for being not among his best work. So I wasn´t expecting much to be honest but it was cheap so what the hell.

You guessed. I just LOVE it!!! OK, the title track is pretty naff (clocks in at over 9 mins, takes 4 to get past the introduction after which the song is something of an anticlimax), but the rest of the CD is really, really good! A minor quibble is that the introductions to most songs are a bit lengthy really (not as excessive as on "Fear"!), but the payoffs are tremendous when one reaches the main body of the song. "Cold City Nights" in particular is excellent - a classic even - and "Voices", "Faces Of War" and "Follow Me" are also especially worthy. Simply put, this is great, intelligent, melodic hard rock: well played, well written, and West is on great form throughout. It´s been a long time since any vocalist has impressed me so much. So, to those who may have been put off by some negative reviews, I would say you should seriously try to investigate this album.

And, Royal Hunt - related news: according to the official website, West will not now be hitching onto the TSO tour, making his extended tenure with the Hunt more likely. A new extended EP is, I believe, already available in Japan: no details on European release as yet. Allen Sørensen has however left the band and I guess he will have to be replaced before they begin work on the new album, unless he is hired specifically for that purpose.

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SubjectViewsWritten ByPosted
Heaven & Earth / Royal Hunt´s Fear +204Steve, Denmark01/10/2001 05:11AM
Royal Hunt 141 sabatar 01/10/2001 07:18AM
RE: Heaven & Earth / Royal Hunt´s Fear + 122John Q01/10/2001 07:38AM

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