The return of Germany's Headhunter in 2008 will test your knowledge of metal history, particularly if you live in the States. If you're an American, my guess is that you probably never heard of them. Headhunter is the creation of Schmier (Destruction), who plays bass and handles vocals, in late 80's, early 90's. They recorded three albums between 1990 and 1994. Difficult to find, they were re-released by AFM records in 2007. Where Schmeir's Destruction presented basic thrash metal, Headhunter could be called raw and dirty power metal band (the hints of thrash remain, however.) So in 2008's 'Parasite Of Society' we have the revival Headhunter for a new millennium.
You will find a certain consistency of music on 'Parasite,' yet some varied departures as traditional heavy metal is mixed with strong thrash and general power metal elements. The work begins with a strange, but curiously satisfying intro which sounds like a scratchy record being played on a very on phonograph. Immediately after this you are pummeled by the title track which is mostly thrash metal with minimal guitar solos. 'Silverskull' follows and is more melodic in nature being more power metal in substance. The arrangement is stirring and the chorus very catchy. One of the finest cuts on the album is 'Remission,' which invokes heavy metal at the start and ventures into a more power metal motif towards the end. Half way through the album Headhunter covers Skid Row's classic '18 And Life.' Though it gets off to a rocky start and it's a bit faster than the original, I found it overall very pleasing. Another good track is 'Backs To The Wall' which has a great opening bass and drum line. Great heavy metal returns on 'The Calling' where the vocal arrangement stands out and there is some quick and thrilling guitar work. There are some slow moments on the album: 'Doomsday For The Prayer' was a major disappointment; and, although they are pure heavy metal, the last two songs are also unmoving. However, as a whole, 'Parasite' is a worthy album.
Headhunter's 'Parasite Of Society' is a rather impressive work. It will more than satisfy longtime Headhunter fans, and I think most metalheads will be pleased too. Frankly, it's amazing what this three-piece band can do. Count it up to musical wisdom and experience. I liked 'Parasite; you should check it out, too. Very recommended!
- Craig Hartranft
Germany's Headhunter returns after an almost 14 year hiatus. Their version of metal mixes raw power metal with the basics of traditional heavy metal and a significant dose of thrash. With the exception of a few tracks, this is great metal. Welcome back, Headhunter.