Hunted's full-length debut, Welcome the Dead, may cause some consternation, even agitation, among both the traditional and modern metalhead. Frankly, they don't fit. Well, maybe more the classic tradition. Hunted blurs genres with many parts classic metal and some thrash and power metal with clean vocals. But with the shifting tempos and signatures, they reveal progressive metal tendencies. Perhaps, they don't even know the direction they intend.
After several listens I find myself perplexed, even mystified. With The Silence of Minds, Aria, and Scars, I'm intrigued, but scratching my head. Hunted seems to venture towards exaggeration with their constant shifting arrangements. Fast. Slow. Power metal. Then thrash. Then what's next. But, damn, It sounds so good, and Hunted is quite good. Am I being too obtuse? I hope not.
Perhaps Hunted is attempting too much in their songs mixing so many genres. Perhaps they wish to resurrect the best of melodic metal, in its variant forms, over the last three decades. They certainly make Nevermore acceptable to the pedestrian populace with their cover of The Heat Collecter. Perhaps, Hunted is the best thing to happen to the New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal (NMOTHM). Why not? Reimagining great metal, but possibly redundant in substance, or not, Hunted's Welcome to the Dead is a brave wind of fresh air. Very recommended.