This Spanish traditional heavy/power metal band seem to have appeared out of nowhere with their ‘straight out of the 80’s rock sound’ but each member brings some history in Spanish heavy metal or hard rock bands. Most recognizable of the name drops to me was guitarist Jose Rubio‘s early involvement in the band Trilogy (later Trilogy 666) and other members played on more recent records from Nightfear. Exuberant vocalist Damián Chicano has a seasoned almost power-metallic tone that fits well with Evil Hunter‘s melodic heavy metal style. The classic power metal influenced vocal arrangements stand out a bit more than the melodic rock ballads for my taste, but ‘Evil Hunter’ keeps the guitar work interesting enough to keep this overtly traditional metal album moving along.
The album starts off on a Maiden-esque kick with “Surf the Waves” and immediately reminded me of Accept‘s ‘Russian Roulette’ era as they toned down a little bit beyond ‘Metal Heart’. Evil Hunter are most clearly inspired by a mid-80’s fusion of traditional heavy metal and it’s crossover with hard rock of the era a la Scorpions, Accept/Udo, and Dokken though they aren’t necessarily a retro project. There is that same slightly horny, or at least very personal, treatment of their melodic heavy metal edge that reads as halfway between Rage‘s 90’s power metal evolution and a more modern group like Wolf.
Lyrics like “You rode me like a horse” in a song titled “Hot Leather” is clear in it’s reverence for an era of hard rock/heavy metal that was either more ‘horny’ or just passionate in different ways. Much of this style largely lives on in AOR scenes and it is nice to hear it bleed into a power/heavy metal band’s shtick because it differentiates them from the masses a bit. If Sacred Leather‘s sweaty mustachioed boner metal ballads weren’t enough then Evil Hunter should fill that proverbial hole even better, though the style here is again closer to Swedish throwback bands like Wolf, Ram and ‘Diamonds’ era Enforcer.
I’m really not a rock/metal ballad guy so I didn’t like “By Your Side” but overall I found ‘Evil Hunter’ to be a memorable hard rock influenced melodic heavy metal record. “Evil Hunter”, “Hold Me Tight” and “Go” stood out the most to me in terms of fine guitar work and vocal melody. The band skate a fine line between energetic retro 80’s power metal and a generic style that is largely saved by fine vocal arrangements, excellent guitar solos and catchy songs. I’d recommend this for it’s energy and passionate performances with the caveat that it does lean into AOR at times and may appeal most to 80’s metal and classic power metal fans most. Solid debut, looking forward to their melodies in the future.
|Released||April 10, 2018|
|Preview on YouTube||Follow Evil Hunter on Facebook|
Heavy Metal, Power Metal
Cunning speed. 3.25/5.0
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