When I heard about the new SkullsnBones/Steel Panther promotion looking for the best of the best in up-and-coming metal bands, I dragged my old Rhino ass out of retirement to get on board. So, let’s kick this bitch!
The first delivery to my inbox was the debut album by Hunter out of Belgium. And, wowza! If these guys are any representation of the talent there, Belgium is one of the best kept secrets in heavy metal, boys and girls. I’m immediately reminded of Iron Maiden, Sabaton and Udo-era Accept, which is not a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination. Lyrically, they cover all the bases found in old school classic metal: death, killers, knights, eye of a newt – the whole shebang.
Vocalist David Walgrave is a beast. His vocal range is superb, from hitting the high notes to dropping down to some pretty impressive growls. But, man oh man, the guitar work of both Voos Vlasschaert and Thomas Abeel is what is truly breathtaking on this record. These guys could hold their own with any of the A-listers playing in festival headlining bands today. The rhythm section of bassist Jerboes Wauters and drummer Dries Deturck lays down some asphalt-solid bottom end that totally supports each song.
Stand out tracks for me are “No Man’s Land,” “Dominion,” and “The Knight of the Black Rose.” But, I’ll be honest, there isn’t a weak track to be found on this record. This a group that deserves the chance to play big stages with big production.
So, heads up to all you bands looking to enter this metal competition! The gauntlet has been thrown down by Hunter, and the line has been drawn in the sand pretty early in the game by these badass Belgian boys.
Hunter is out now, and you can purchase it by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!
We Believe Heavy Metal Rules!
Steel Panther and SkullsNBones have teamed up to support underground heavy metal by bringing a ton of exposure to some awesome bands who submit their albums for review. Is your band churning out some noteworthy metal? Make your self heard by submitting your music for consideration here!