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Hunter – Hungry Heart Award winner

Hungry Heart
by Mark Machlay at 26 May 2021, 6:37 AM

HUNTER a melodic hard rock/ AOR band from La Serena, Chile have had an interesting road to getting their debut album released during the Covid-19 pandemic. They managed to publish their namesake debut with 10 songs in total, 5 in English and 5 in Spanish on all digital platforms such as Spotify, iTunes, Deezer, etc. in April 2018. Two weeks later they received an email from British rock magazine Fireworks Rock & Metal who were interested in doing an interview with a review of their album. In addition, the publication would be not only be adding “Somebody Said (Love is a Lonely Word)” – a track from the band’s album – to the CD that came with the magazine, but also featuring it as the first track as well. A couple months later, Powerplay, another British rock magazine published their review of the album, exulting both the band and album as the best of 2018. The media train just kept rolling on for the band, resulting in a lot of media noise catching the attention of two European labels, the famous Frontiers from Italy and Lion’s Pride Music of Denmark. After showing initial interest, Frontiers seemed to back off while Lion’s Pride Music offered a very clear deal with the exception that all the songs needed to be recorded in English.

Well, needless to say, the band signed with Lion’s Pride Music and set to work re-recording half of their album in English for a much wider appeal. Unfortunately, that also meant they had to delete their album off of all streaming platforms but the band were confident to come back with a stronger product. Further accolades would be given as vocalist and producer on the album Ed Carabantes was nominated for Best Producer at the Indigo Awards for his work with HUNTER and the song “Somebody Said (Love is a Lonely Word)”. The band would further expand on the album as well. In the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, the band released “Rise Up!” a song dedicated to all those people around the world fighting against the disease in hospitals or at home fighting their own battles. The single reached far and wide being played on such stations as ARFM in England, Metal Crash Radio in Germany and most importantly Somosuno Radio in Peru where the band was elected by the audience as “Top of the Week Band”.

There is an unmistakably 80s sheen to all the songs on HUNTER’s debut, helping it to make me feel nostalgic enough to imagine the album being released over 30 years ago. It’s an album full of songs that have the same energy as a power ballad and it can be a bit monotonous at times. I like the triggered sounding drum fill that opens first track “Hungry Heart” taking no time to transport the listener back to heavy hair days. It’s got the glossy clean guitar verses juxtaposed with the fantastic keyboard leads, a fabulously singable chorus and cool-as-a-cucumber duel guitar solo a third of the way to lead into “oohs” and “aahs” of a heady outro. Many of the songs follow the same format but they’re all so exquisitely, meticulously executed that it is easy to turn the brain off and just get lost in a reverb-drenched dream. There is a tender, serious turn on “Tender Eyes” that shows the emotional range of both vocalist Ed Carabantes and the band as a whole to pull at the listener’s heartstrings. Another special mention should be given to the timely “Rise Up” which serves as wonderful hard rock tribute to those fighting the deadly pandemic to fight on and endure. HUNTER is great time capsule into the style and feeling of simpler, uncomplicated, yet uplifting music and it is much needed in these hard times.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Hungry Heart
2. Tore Love
3. Far Away
4. Love Hunter
5. Sad Eyes
6. Destination
7. Rise Up
8. Snake
9. Somebody Said (Love is A Lonely Word)
10. Tonight
11. We Gotta Fight
12. Warmer Love
Ed Carabantes – Vocals
Claudio Guerrero – Guitar
Leo Correa – Keyboards
Juan Carlos Alfaro – Bass
Marcelo Alegria – Drums
Record Label: Lion's Pride Music


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