Royal Hunt - Moving target 3.5/5

Reviewed: 8-19-05


1. Last goodbye
2. 1348
3. Makin' a mess
4. Far away
5. Step by step
6. Autograph
7. Stay down
8. Give it up
9. Time
10. Far away (acoustic version)

A significant change happened to Royal Hunt between ‘Clown in the mirror’and ‘Moving target’- they changed singers. Henrik Brockmann is gone and replaced by an American, D.C. Cooper. While Brockman had an average, scratchy, hard rock influenced voice, Cooper is more powerful and smooth with a much more range. This gives songwriter André Andersen many more areas to explore with his songwriting.

Cooper has a dramatically different sound than Brockman did. Brockman had a throaty, sometimes scratchy voice, whereas Cooper's is smooth as silk. Cooper's range brings a new dimension to the band, as he can easily soar into areas that Brockman couldn't even dream of. The songwriting consistency on this CD, though, is a little disappointing and reverts somewhat to ‘Land of broken hearts’. The first half is terrific. "Last goodbye" and "1348", featuring an extended instrumental introduction, have a progressive element to them and "Makin' a mess" is an excellent, furious uptempo track. The ballad "Far away" gives Cooper the perfect opportunity to show off his incredible combination of power and range. Up to this point, this is the best CD the band has made. Starting with "Step by step", however, the songs take a decided downturn with only "Stay down" and "Time" being above average.

‘Moving target’ shows Royal Hunt moving in a new, exciting direction and DC Cooper gives them more potential than they ever had with the effective, but limited, Brockmann. At times Andersen takes advantage of the new toy that Cooper’s voice gives him to play with but the CD does not feature the consistent songwriting that André Anderson is capable of. Despite this, ‘Moving target’ is a very good CD as Royal Hunt begins to transition in a new and exciting direction.




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