Royal Hunt - Paradox (1997)
This was my first listen to Danish progressive metal band Royal Hunt & I found that their sound sits somewhere between Dream Theater & Yngwie J. Malmsteen's Rising Force. It's progressive metal with strong symphonic & neoclassical components. I liked most of the first half of the record. Songs like "River Of Pain" & "Message To God" have a polished sheen & catchy singalong choruses that generally appeal to my taste but the second half of the album sees a much greater emphasis put on the cheesier symphonic & neoclassical elements & I found my interest waning pretty quickly. The production & performances are very good & I would think that "Paradox" would appeal to plenty of people out there but it drops a bit too far outside of my comfort zone really.