Royal Hunt — Fear
(Rondel Records RRCD RH0501, 1999, CD)
D.C. Cooper — D.C. Cooper
(Inside Out Music IOMACD 2005, 1999, CD)
by Sean McFee, Published 2000-10-01
Progressive metal gets an unfair rap from a lot of people, and albums like this certainly don't help. In a sub-genre that is often criticized for gratuitous displays of complexity, Royal Hunt goes the other way completely by never leaving 4/4. The sole "progressive" trapping is the occasional keyboard fanfare. Songs follow the standard verse / chorus structure with vocal harmonies strongly reminiscent of Bon Jovi. Things aren't helped much by the overly portentous and cheesy lyrics, including a ridiculous spoken proclamation at the beginning of the title track. Royal Hunt has a long way to go before they'll be in the same league as Dream Theater or Shadow Gallery.
Meanwhile, D.C. Cooper is the former vocalist of Royal Hunt, and had his own solo release in 1999. This album fares somewhat better, being more in the Queensrÿche vein circa Empire, aided in no small part by the similarity of Cooper's voice with that of Geoff Tate. Some of the lyrics here are a bit less than exemplary (the insistence on rhyming can be a bit clumsy), but all in all it is much better than what Royal Hunt came up with.
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more