Royal Hunt began in 1991 when bandleader Andre Anderson, originally from Moscow, joined up in Denmark with singer Henrik Brockmann, bassist Steen Mogensen, and drummer Kenneth Olson. With Andre on keyboards and session musicians playing guitar, Royal Hunt was set to record their first album, Land of Broken Hearts. This was a basic rock set featuring Andre's classically influenced melodies. For the next album, Clown in the Mirror, Jacob Kjaer, who had played on the first album, joined the band as lead guitar player. Clown in the Mirror is a much more progressive album and features even more classical-sounding melodies than its predecessor.
A new era of Royal Hunt music began on the next album, Moving Target, when Brockmann was replaced by American singer D.C. Cooper. Although Anderson continued to write all the songs, Cooper brought a different, softer sound to the band. Anderson's songwriting also matured, and Moving Target sounded more like an album, as opposed to a collection of songs. Yet another lineup change hit for the fourth album, Paradox, as drummer Kenneth Olsen was forced to leave the band due to hearing problems. Paradox, featuring a session drummer, continued along the direction started by Moving Target, if a little softer. Double Live in Japan followed in 1999. The concert LP Double Live in Japan and the new studio album Fear both dropped in 1999, the latter of which was the first outing for new vocalist John West. The band's sixth long player, 2001's The Mission, was a concept album built around author Ray Bradbury's sci-fi classic The Martian Chronicles, and was followed in 2003 by Eyewitness. 2005's Paper Blood saw the departures of Jacob Kjaer and Steen Mogensen, and was the last Royal Hunt outing to feature West on vocals. 2008's Collision Course... Paradox II introduced new vocalist Mark Boals, who also appeared on 2010's aptly-named X. 2011's Show Me How To Live marked the return of vocalist D.C. Cooper, who stayed on board for follow-up albums A Life to Die For (2013) and Devil's Dozen (2015). ~ David White