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Review: Hanker - Snakes and Ladders
Snakes and Ladders

Label: Metal Disk Records
Year released: 2000
Duration: 53:20
Tracks: 11
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: July 1, 2000
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.4/5 (88%) (30 Votes)

As unbelievable as it may seem, Hanker have bettered themselves with their latest album. Now that deserves my first-ever 5+/5

Snakes And Ladders is better than the first two albums in almost every aspect. The first thing I noticed is the much superior production. This is one of the best I've heard in a long time. Everything sounds better - vocals, guitars, bass and drums, you just can't miss a thing. Nothing short of impressive.

This album is heavier and faster than the first two, the first song Ad Patres being a good introduction to over 53 minutes of pure power metal that Hanker delivers better than ever before. Lead vocalist Pascal Cliche is in even better control of his voice, delivering an impressive range of vocals from beginning to end. The drumming is impressive, more present and loud than in the previous albums, adding an overwhelming power to just about every song. You won't fall asleep on this one, people! This is also the first album with bassist Denis Cossette, who graces us with a couple of solos. The guitars sound better than ever, showing the amazing talent of the two guitarists. The solos are nothing short of amazing. Let's not forget the well thought out lyrics that Hanker have accustomed us to in the previous albums; Snakes and Ladders is no exception.

Some notes on a few songs - they're all good so I'll keep it short. The third song, Hail To You is a great hymn to their loyal fans. Confidence man, the sixth song, is among my favorites, a great rocker that will probably generate a lot of enthusiasm when played live as soon as they start playing the first notes. The ninth song, Fool's Paradise, is an instrumental ballad, and also the shortest at 2:51. It is a good introduction to The Eternal Struggle (which happens to be the longest, at 8:25). The latter is so intense, it will stop you from doing whatever you're doing and listen attentively.

Ok, I haven't said anything bad... Actually it's pretty difficult to do so. I'd say Seven and closer Behind The Curtain and the weakest songs on the album, although they are very good.

This album is so far my choice for album of the year 2000. Unfuckingbelievable is the one-word description of Hanker's latest masterpiece. This is an absolute must-have for any metalhead, period.

Additional Information

- Re-issued in 2002 on limited-edition vinyl by Cult Metal Classics (Greece)

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