Cardiff band HUNTED have been hard at work touring the UK, and marketing themselves. Not least with their 2009 demo “Alone”, which has been instrumental in hailing them, as one net site put it, “…the next DREAM THEATER”. They´ve played Bloodstock, featured on the official ProgPower USA promo CD and now this full-length, which had an original limited release in 2010. Their influences range from DREAM THEATER via IRON MAIDEN to OPETH. So…impress me!
After the soon to be obligatory intro the power thrash of “The Silence of Minds” display the mark that IRON MAIDEN has set on the genre, plus the fact that Chris G possesses a very powerful voice. The lack of focus on refrains, as in “Aria (In Memoriam)” is not to the band´s advantage. A short and quite pointless intermission in the shape of the crying “TheIncident” marks the turning of the album. From rather ball-less and half-hearted HUNTED metamorphoses into a tighter unit, only to produce some songs that will no doubt become trademarks. The bonus track “The Heart Collector” steals the show, for some reason they´ve hidden their strongest card way back. The verse may be derivative of Mr. BIG and Steve Harris might as well be credited for the track, but it is still a mighty impressive effort. The band really works a s a unit, with strong vocals, interesting guitar patterns, and a rhythm section to die for…at times. They reach quite far with tracks like “Scars” and “I Want Nothing”, but not quite up to the level of the overlooked bonus track. The somewhat unique is the way they mix DREAM THEATER with thrash, which is augmented by their arrangements and skills, at least in the second half. Next time around…
Welcome the Dead
Silence of Minds
Aria (In Memoriam)
I Want Nothing
The Heart Collector (Bonus Track)