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Anthem - Hunting Time (2005) album review


Band:Anthem, album:Hunting Time (2005), genre: Heavy Metal

Anthem was on quite a run when the band released Hunting Time exactly one year after the incredibly catchy Gypsy Ways. The second album with melodic and skilled singer Yukio Morikawa successfully mixes the energy and speed of the band's first three outputs with the catchy and melodic approach of the critically acclaimed predecessor. Anthem found its very own style with this release.

The record opens with a bang in form of the unchained up-tempo track ''The Juggler'' with gripping riffs and howling guitar sounds, a vividly pumping bass guitar, wild yet precise drumming and a more variable vocal effort mixing an uplifting melodic approach with a rawer undertone. This outstanding opener exemplifies Anthem's unique style on this record.

The record features more vivid tunes like the powerful ''Evil Touch'' with its ferocious instrumental section and outstanding guitar solos that is occasionally lightened up by a few epic keyboard passage reminding me of organ sounds.

On the other side, there are also more melodic, creative and complex songs such as the diversified and almost progressive title song ''Hunting Time'' where each band member showcases his incredible talent in six passionate minutes without ever drifting off towards instrumental wankery.

Another song that needs to be pointed out is the rhythmic ''Let Your Heart Beat'' with its thunderous drum play and surgical opening riff before the song gets more melodic and almost danceable towards the longing and soothing chorus, supported by occasional backing vocals, melodically howling guitars and a few decent keyboard patterns. Just like the more explosive opener, this song that never gets boring or predictable perfectly represents what Anthem stands for and can be considered an overlooked highlight on this release as well as in Anthem's long career.

The excellent song material progresses in diversified yet logical order as heavier tracks are often followed by more melodic tunes. Everything is hold together by a refreshingly organic production by Chris Tsangarides who collaborated with the band for a third time in a row.

Anthem was at the height of its career in the late eighties and early nineties. Ultimately, it's a matter of personal taste whether your prefer the more catchy and melodic Gypsy Ways or the more diversified and heavy Hunting Time. Personally, I slightly prefer the latter because the band sounds so variable, unchained and creative and delivers eight killer tracks without any fillers. Anthem has also found its very own style on this record and can't be compared to any other artists or bands here. The energizing and precise instrumental work sounds better than ever before and the vocals find the right balance between energy and melody. Any fan of classic heavy metal of the eighties should own Anthem's Hunting Time.

Last edited by ketstaco (2017-11-24 21:05:51)


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