Artist: Hunter's Ground
Album Title: Estrous
The production on this record is raw and murky, pierced by high, trembling guitars and screamed/bellowed dual vocals. The drums occasionally threaten to overwhelm the vocals when they're blasting, but overall this demo has a balanced, even feel.
I was quite impressed by the sheer amount of emotion on offer here. This demo is packed with riffs, and while they're combined in unique and even quirky ways, every transition is solid. Every second echoes with fierce joy and aggression, as befits the record's hunting/wildlife theme. "Calling the Hunt" opens the album with echoing guitars and stately, shifting drumming -- the latter is exceptional throughout the demo, recalling early Graveland in its simplicity and feeling. "Estrous" is a bit more driven, thrashing its way through a set of quick, nimble guitar lines. The extended screams on this track are utterly convincing! I like the section just before the end, too, with its rolling drums and evocative guitar. "A Path of Snow & Certain Death" is a surprisingly effective ambient track, with some well-chosen nature samples and what sounds like a mournful violin over the top. The abrupt ending transitions into the demo's best song, "Blacks Out The Stars". There's a huge sense of barely-restrained might on this track, one that builds and builds until finally bursting free in a flurry of drums. The variety here is very cool, too: some sections are almost doomy in tempo, and others evoke clattering chaos worthy of a death metal record.
I was pleasantly surprised by this one: it's catchy and heavy and just plain great, and the theme is quite convincing: eat, consume, become undying! Highly recommended.
Standout Tracks: "Estrous", "Blacks Out The Stars"