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Royal Hunt Eye Witness Frontiers Records
FRCD147
Produced By: Royal Hunt

Running Time: 50.33

Release Date: June 23

Released: EU

Musical Style: Progressive Melodic Hard Rock

Links: Royal Hunt Frontiers
88%
Songs: 86%
Sound: 90%
Another solid album from one of Europe's favourite hard rock acts. No surprise really, as these guys know what they are doing, know what their fans like and know their way around the studio.
Studio album number 8 (if you don't include the material on The Watchers) sees the band covering the subject matter of media and what it is "feeding us with". So it's a loosely based concept album.
The music of Eye Witness is not radically different from anything else the band has done with second singer John West. The album is not as intense as its predecessor, the very excellent Mission album, but it still rocks with the perfected attitude that will keep loyal fans happy. The fact that each song can be individually removed from the album and appreciated on its own, makes the album more accessible and therefore increases it's chances of appealing to new listeners. This album more than the last couple has that chance.
While I prefer the intensity of The Mission and the quality of the songwriting on that album, this album is by no means a weaker album just a little different in its approach. In fact, the production quality on Eye Witness is a little thicker and sonically heavier than previously. The sound is crisp and clear and very well mixed.
As far as the performance, these guys are consummate professionals and as expected sound on top of their game - made even better by that really clean mix. And vocalist John West just keeps getting better and better.
As far as the songs themselves go, there are no weak tracks. The running time of between 3 and 6 minutes offers some good variety and the fact there is only 10 tracks means there are no fillers.
The crunchy rocker Can't Let Go rolls along at a great pace; the keyboard/vocal ballad The Prayer is quite intense; Burning The Sun employs that much loved double kick-drum pace; and the title track Eye Witness is the most epic of the album, running from a atmospheric instrumental intro to flat out hard rocker when it hits the three minute mark. And don't forget the required instrumental - that's track 7, 5th Element.
Wicked Lounge is the one track that sticks out as the obviously experimental number of the album. This jazzy blues number features horns and a bar room swagger that will raise some eyebrows. But it works well.

The Bottom Line
Another solid album that offers some interesting musical variety, while staying true to the band's sound, and even improving on it in the case of the production quality. Performances are flawless and it will come down to personal preference as to where it fits into the favourites list from the band. But newcomers take note, if you have always been curious; there is no better time to check these guys out than now. Excellent semi-progressive European hard rock.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
Land Of Broken Hearts
Clown In The Mirror
Moving Target
Paradox
Fear
Intervention
The Mission
The Watchers
Eye Witness

Line Up
John West: Vocals
Jacob Kjaer: Guitar
Andre Andersen: Keys
Steen Mogensen: Bass
+ Allan Tschicaja: Drums

Essential for fans of:
Royal Hunt - The Mission
Artension
John West
Track Listing
Hunted
Can't Let Go*
The Prayer*
The Edge Of The World
Burning The Sun
Wicked Lounge*
5th Element
Help Us G-D
Game Of Fear
Eye Witness
--*Best Tracks


13/09/03: Ole Bach - toemrer.ole@get2net.dk
Rating: 99
Fantastic

11/07/03: Nicodim - nicodim-r@mail.ru
Rating: 90
Undoubtly, one of the best albums in RH's history. And a heavier one. They never sounded so hot, so muddy. As for me myself - I like this release a lot. Great rockers, great ballads - what else do U need from Andre & the guys?! The band itself tried to get rid of unnecessary commercial sounding and they were successful indeed.
The only thing that laugh me off is photograph in the booklet, where John West reads an newspaper. Do U know what it is? This is one of the best Russian weeklies - "AIF" ("Arguments and Facts" in English). But do John knows Russian?.. Guess, no. There are only one man in the band, who knows it - Andre.

08/07/03: Jimmie G - jgorman826@aol.com
Rating: 65
Are you kidding me? This is what all us Royal Hunt fans were waiting for?? Where is the magic of Moving Target, Fear, Paradox, et al????? Before I heard this, I thought Royal Hunt could NEVER make a bad CD....well, judge for yourself, but the the driving,progressive,melodic music took a hike on this one...Wicked Lounge belongs somewhere else..and the "church-like" acoustic Follow Me missed the mark completely....Not sure what RH was attempting....Sold my "Eyewitness" after 2-3 listens...and immediately went back to all their other stuff (I own em all) to make sure I didn't miss anything ...know what?? I didn't...
j

07/07/03: John Ferguson - jonferg@nortelnetworks.com
Rating: 88
“Eye Witness” is the eighth full-blown studio album from one of Europe’s premier hard rock acts, Royal Hunt and is the follow-up to 2001’s excellent “The Mission”. The brainchild of Danish musical genius Andre Anderson, this semi-concept album is based on the question of “What is the Media Feeding Us With Today?” Typically professional in delivery and wonderfully produced, Royal Hunt’s brand of intelligent and powerful melodic rock sits somewhere between the pomp of Magnum and the intricate cerebral metal of classic Queensryche. “Hunted” is a high octane opener, with John West’s soaring vocals duelling with the crunching guitar riffs of Jacob (JK) Kjaer. “Can’t let Go” and “Burning The Sun” are classic foot-stomping Royal Hunt as is the intense keyboard/vocal ballad “The Prayer.” Something different from Royal Hunt comes in the form of “Wicked Lounge,” a jazzy, bar room swinger that many bands could not pull off, but here it works perfectly. Most commercial sounding track is the memorable “Help Us God” and the intelligent title track closes the album on a high. (LTD Edition digipack also includes the bonus tracks “Martial Arts” and “Follow Me.) Highly recommended for all RH fans and those who like their metal serious and intelligent.


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