From the heart of America's "Rust Belt," Warren Ohio's Wretch returns with a new album, The Hunt. The origins of the band go back better than 30 years, but the most recent re-genesis began in 2003. Fraught with personnel changes along the way, this new album comes with new members as well: Juan Ricardo on vocals from Cleveland's Sunless Sky (also releasing a new album in April) and drummer Jeff Curenton from Ohio's Winters Bane.
Once more Wretch treads familiar ground, namely the American version of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWoBHM). The band deals out twin guitar harmony through both riffs and leads, adding a galloping rhythm section and clean, soaring, classic metal vocals. Vocalist Ricardo has a bit of a Dickinson timbre to his style, but I think he actually sings and sounds better than Bruce. Of these elements, the guitars take the center stage, with an abundance of soaring leads, often from the neo-classical side of the fret board.
Of the album, unlike 2014's Warriors, this album is shorter in length, by nearly 20 minutes. I recall thinking the previous album was a bit "stuffed" and so overwhelming. The Hunt reaches a happy medium. Yet, being shorter doesn't mean you're being shortchanged. There's some powerful heavy metal here. You've got the gallop of power metal with The Hunt, Straight To Hell, Final Stand, and The King In Red. Of the latter two, these are preceded by some tasteful acoustic and classical guitar segues, Twilight's End and Fortune's Fool, respectively. Then you get more of this with She Waits, a somber metal ballad featuring voice over acoustic classical guitar. Did I say the guitar work was rather impressive, the acoustic stuff definitely. Some songs, like Throne Of Poseidon, seem to sway, ever so slightly, between speed and moderation. The song is also good example of Ricardo's vocal strength, control, and range. Also, Throne Of Poseidon, along with Once In A Lifetime, are both examples of songs that don't start with guitar riffs, but rather a tasty drum lead from Curenton. Bottom line: Wretch's The Hunt is another strong and impressive album of classic American heavy power metal, which fans of the same will enjoy, I'm quite sure. Recommended.
Wretch's The Hunt is another strong and impressive album of classic American heavy power metal, which fans of the same will enjoy, I'm quite sure. Recommended.
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