|Review: Hanker - Web Of Faith|
|Web Of Faith|
Label: Skyscraper Music
Year released: 2004
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: January 30, 2005
Reviewed by: Pierre Bégin
for:Web Of Faith
Rated 4.25/5 (85%) (24 Votes)
"Web Of Faith" is the fourth album from the Canadian metal band Hanker and the first recorded for Skyscraper Music. Four long years have passed since their last album "Snakes And Ladders" released in 2000. Was it worth the wait?
This 61 minutes opus begins in force with "Empower", a solid fast song which treats of the 9/11 events. The next one is "Inside Me", which begins with a great heavy riff. The best track of the album in my own opinion is "Stigmata", with a Maiden-esque riff and superb melody in the chorus, an instant classic the first time I heard it! I love the way Pascal sings the chorus especially in the highest part at the end of the song where all the emotion is released!
Sincerely, there are no fillers on this 12 tracks release. My favourite songs are "Empower", "Inside Me", "Stigmata", "Do Or Die", "Undercover Of Darkness" and "Point Of No Return". This is the first Hanker album without any keyboards. There are two very good metallic ballads titled "Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea" and "The Huntsman", both melt very well with the other 10 tracks.
Musicianship-wise, Luc Guay did an astonishing job on the drums just like he did on "Snakes And Ladders". For instance, his use of the china cymbal here and there is very efficient. He brings a lot to the songs by wonderfully varying his drum-play throughout the album. Luc is what the metal doctor ordered to treat the generic double bass drum disease! More specifically, check songs like "Empower", "Do Or Die", "Undercover Of Darkness" and "Point Of No Return" to see what I mean. The lead guitars department is once again one of the highlights for a Hanker album. Pascal and Patrick did some excellent guitar solos, a bit more aggressive than in the previous releases. Pascal did a great job on vocals with nice melody and feelings.
One of the main things where Hanker have improved a lot on this album is the production. Jean-François Dagenais from the death metal band Kataklysm produced "Web Of Faith" and gives the band an edge without taking away their traditional sound. I particularly appreciate the guitar sounds (distortion and acoustic). One little complaint however: Pascal's voice echoes a bit too much (as if he was singing in a hall) but the overall production is excellent and ahead of any previous Hanker release. I know that the band really dug their experience with Jean-François and I hope they will work with him again for future albums.
The "Web Of Faith" cover and booklet was done by David Faucher. The band has gone through many sketches before finally choosing this one. This computer generated cover is brilliant and represents the lyrical content of the album very well.
In conclusion, "Web Of Faith" was worth the wait. Hanker have kept their high class songwriting standard with this more than 60 minutes of pure heavy metal music. I've been listening to the album for more than half a year and it's been on my playlist ever since. Moreover, there are absolutely no fillers on this 12 tracks release. I'm not a die-hard fan for nothing, I've been digging this great band ever since their first studio album "In Our World" in 1994 and they keep going on to this day with their solid heavy metal without compromise. And thanks to Skyscraper Music, Hanker finally have suitable distribution and promotion. Highly recommended.
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