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Evil Hunter – Lockdown

Evil Hunter
Lockdown
by Oli Gonzalez at 13 February 2022, 4:30 AM

EVIL HUNTER is the product of several musicians from various regions of Spain, uniting to form a band focusing heavily on the heavy and power metal ends of the spectrum. I found their story interesting, as guitarist Jose initially began his search for band members way back in 2013! It seems as though he had a clear vision for a band based around positive energy, musical talent, but above all, one in which all members would be great friends. They eventually played their debut show in 2018, so clearly they took their time with several years of careful planning. I had a quick glance at some of their live shows. It is admirable to see that energy they bring on stage, and it does genuinely seem like they love what they do. It’ll be interesting to see how this translates into “Lockdown”, their second full length album.

Throughout the whole album, I get a sense that the band have gone down a more traditional NWOBHM route, heavily influenced by the likes of JUDAS PRIEST and bands of that era. Much like the frontman for the British legends, I have no idea how Damian was able to reach some of those crippling high notes and shrieks, especially in “Guardian Angel” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. I could see this album being very audience effective when played live. The lyrics are very catchy and easily understood. At the same time, nothing seems cliché. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but perhaps it’s Damian’s unique inflexions and overall tone that gives the band its identity. That’s not to discount the efforts from the guitars. The extended solos in both “Guardian Angel” and “Fear Them All” stood out to me. Whilst some artists would take the opportunity to showboat with needlessly complex riffs, it seems as though both Jose and Robert have carefully crafted their solos, prioritising emotion and overall feel into carefully crafted melodies, ultimately leading to greater listener engagement.

By the same token, I saw elements of thrash in the guitar riffs in “Get Up” reminiscent of EXODUS. This is achieved with just right amount of distortion in the tone, and the overall dissonant chord progressions. The band pride themselves on being rooted in power metal. I think this is prominent during “Burning In Flames”, especially when the drums and bass lock in with a root heavy galloping pattern and groove. It also seems like there was a very subtle synth backing track, again synonymous with the genre. The band slow things down in the latter stages of the album, when slower cleaner guitar passages feature prominently in the last two songs, giving an almost power ballad feel. Again, demonstrating versatility.

Overall, I was initially concerned that I would be too young to be able to fully appreciate this album, simply because it’s a throwback to an era that I wasn’t born in. However, there are a lot of elements here to be appreciated. I do wonder if the songs can be a little repetitive and formulaic at times. But the band do show evidence of being able to implement different textures and musical styles. Perhaps they should expand on this for future recordings. Production wise, it’s hard to find fault. They’ve done their homework here! I honestly feel EVIL HUNTER are a fantastic example of a band who have stayed true to their vision and wrote music purely for themselves. Whilst their style is heavily rooted in a genre formed several decades ago, they still manage to keep things fresh and original. It’s easy for me, the listener, to become engaged and to truly feel that passion.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Guardian Angel
2. You’ll Never Walk Alone
3. Get Up
4. Burning In Flames
5. Fear Them All
6. Beyond The Down
7. Lockeddown
8. Blown With The Wind
Lineup:
Jose Rubio - Guitars
Damian Chicano - Vocals
Anxo Silveira - Drums
Robert Beade – Guitars
Alberto Garrido - Bass
Record Label: Demons Records
     


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Edited 27 November 2022
 

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