‘Dystopia’ is the 15th studio album of the Danish melodic prog metal band Royal Hunt and it is one of their best!! Founder/ keyboard player Andre Andersen and Co. really came up with a musical, melodic highlight, which I can truly recommend very highly! ‘Dystopia’ is a concept album, based on the classic Bradbury sci-fi novel ‘Fahrenheit 451’, and to me this album really sounds as a metal opera. All songs are wonderfully interwoven and the album actually sounds like cinematic metal to me, featuring clear influences from the likes of Rick Wakeman, Yngwie Malmsteen, Rainbow, Alcatrazz and even Dream Theater.
D.C. Cooper’s vocals are more than excellent and guest singers like Mats Levén, Mark Boals, Henrik Brockmann and Alexandra Andersen also do a great job. ‘Dystopia’ kicks off with the instrumental, film-like ,,Inception F451”, followed by the explosive ,,Burn”, featuring a heavy riff and a great melodic chorus that kind of reminds me of Blackmore’s Rainbow…. Other highlights are: ,,The Art Of Dying” (heavy with vocals from Mats Levén), ,,Eye Of Oblivion” (filled with neoclassical elements and a great chorus) and ,,Black Butterflies”; the latter being a very dynamic track with lots of keys and a real catchy chorus! ,,Snake Eyes” sounds like an eighties ballad with lots of orchestral passages and a marvellous outstanding guitar solo. So, Royal Hunt fans will be very pleased with this album, but also lovers of melodic prog metal cannot miss out on this album. Highly recommended, and it even gives keen competition to Royal Hunt’s best album `Paradox’….