The Great Pandemonium
Review by Felix on October 27, 2021.
Hunters Moon? Well, a rather parsimonious EP was their first and last sign of life – until now! To my big surprise, we receive a new work of this band after a hiatus of “only” twelve years. Of course, some might say that the band was not relevant so far, but firstly I disagree and secondly a new album can be a gamechanger, if I am not mistaken. So, step into The Great Pandemonium and realize what happens.
First things first, Hunters Moon are not Judas Priest. Okay, no one has claimed this. What I want to say is: although the break lasted longer than a decade, they did not change their style significantly. Don’t fear a “Turbo” symptom just two years after a fantastic, faith-defending album. Even if these guys (with Denouncement Pyre and Nocturnal Graves merits) would sleep for 24 years, they would still feel forge red hot iron instead of stumbling “out in the cold”. Facts like this one separate authentic bands from once respected pioneers who have become greedy for money. This does not mean that The Great Pandemonium offers the identical meal as The Serpents Lust. A lot of high-speed parts have crept in and they increase the level of fury, dynamic and drama. But the core of Hunters Moon’s art has remained untouched. There is this bitter, Darwinian component which is nowhere better cultivated than in Australia. D 666, Razor of Occam, the second album of Assaulter or, of course, Denouncement Pyre can tell you more about this characteristic feature. Based on a dense production which does not lack the necessary amount of filth, the eight songs leave a trail of devastation.
In a few moments, a melancholic desperation shimmers through the riffs and lines, but mostly the trio hails the Gods of merciless destruction. The dudes do not give the listener a pause for breath during the 40 minutes. Twelve years of breathing were more than enough! Without adhering to conventional verse-chorus-verse structures, they attack with cruelty from the first tones of the lava-like opener to the triumphant, militaristic ending of the closer. First lieutenant, I report obediently: no downers here! Song titles like 'Storm Of Hail And Fire' speak for themselves. The musical content fulfills the promises the names of the tracks indicate. But despite this harsh approach which is garnished with some hellish solos every now and then, the single cuts do not fall victim to a lack of catchiness. Naturally there are no arena-compatible sing-along parts. However, the thunderous outbursts possess a recognition value, at least up to a solid degree. The album acts like a medium-speed poison that gradually infiltrates the body. Only 'Red Death' is difficult to decode.
A great artwork is not missing, but – as always – the music is the crucial element. The fierce and intense 'Bride Over Chaos' does not only give the artwork an acoustic equivalent, but it also holds the line “great pandemonium, chaos” and so it works as a substitute for the absent title track. But the following 'Drag Them To The Coffins' also hits the mark exactly while presenting an exciting mix of general fury and morbid guitar licks. While the closer 'Hearse For A Barren Earth' sounds like the lament of a battle lord who looks over the blood-drenched fields after a terrible massacre, the excellent opening riff of the ominously rolling 'Torn By Talons' appears as the melody that has sent his legions to war. Obviously, The Great Pandemonium is nothing less but a partly fanatic, partly cold-blooded piece of black thrash metal that no fan of Craven Idol, Condor or the aforementioned Australian bands should miss.
Rating: 8.8 out of 10249