Review Summary: Masterpiece from the Realm of the Unheard.
My very first reaction to this dark tour de force crafted by Krister Linder and the boys could be compared to that of someone unexpectedly stumbling upon a resplendent treasure chest. I am quite sure fans of Katatonia are somwhat familiar with the name "Krister Linder". Yes, the addition of his evocative voice to Jonas Renkse's already indescribably mesmerizing sound succeeded in closing an already extraordinary album, "The Night Is The New Day", in a commendable fashion with "Departer".
Enter The Hunt's debul full-length album, "For Life Til Death, to Hell With Love", was released way back in 2006; and seemingly, most of our ears were clearly not fortunate enough to gluttonize on it back when it was released. My frequent hunger for new music once again settled in and my search led me to Enter The Hunt only three days ago - and I have been absolutely spellbound by it ever since. Thus, the reference to stumbling upon a treasure chest.
Their music could be best described as a unique companionship between Dark Metal and Hard Rock. Each and every track from the album subtly strokes you with exceptionally dark and stirring melodies and then flawlessly pummels you with strong melodic riffs - which creates an astounding fusion between heaviness and hypnotism. Furthermore, the songs show brilliant proficiency in the general flow. You would not find a single moment in the album which would seem unnecessary and neither does the progression of one part into another in the same song feel "forced"; the music is well-crafted enough gently step from one moment of the song to another. Overall, the album has a pleasantly constant flow.
Instrumentally, the album is very fulfilling. The guitars are mysteriously dark, soothingly melodic, yet the strength of the riffs make them powerful at the same time. Keyboards and added atmospheric effects are almost absent and the guitarists accept full responsibility of fashioning the blissfully murky atmosphere represented in the album. It also effectively offers audible and proficient bass - which is always delightful to listen to. After that, we arrive to the drummer. Cut down on the riffs and decelerate the drums and flock them with Ghost Brigade and friends - you could. Nevertheless, the Hard Rock style drums form an energetic backbone to Enter The Hunt's uniqueness - with continuous crashing and splashing of the cymbals, confident kick pedals, and distinctly different drum loops from your everyday hard rock bands.
However, what separates them the most from others is undoubtedly the vocalist himself. In time, we have met vocalists like Maynard James Keenan (Tool), Jonas Renkse (Katatonia), Pete Loeffler (Chevelle) and so on, who can immediately fascinate the listener to their music with the sheer emotion portrayed in just their voice. Ladies and Gentlemen, let us welcome another member amongst their ranks, Krister Linder. His voice is undoubtedly gifted: hypnotic with a slight undertone of subtle whispering, which bestows him with the mystical ability to portray any message in any dark emotion. All the same, an "exceptional voice" alone cannot pioneer an entire album; the singer has to know well how that gift. And Krister Linder knows how.
Moving towards the album, they are very faithful towards the particular style of music they set out to create. The album opens without any complicacy throwing the opening guitar tune of "Setting Sun", which soon settles into an eerie melody with Krister displaying his vocal expertise. "Erased In Grace", "Never Stop" and "Go" are powerhouses which evolve from groovy riffs and gradually inclines towards the darkness and soaring chorus sections, whereas "Alone" maintains a wonderful mixture between energy and a nostalgic chorus. "Even The Night", "Forever" and the breathtaking album closer "Yours Truly" exchanges energy for further harmoniousness as well as escalating the gloomy atmosphere. And that brings us to the best two tracks of the album: "Black Stars" and "One". "Black Stars" is simply sensational in every aspect, especially the wordless vocal-musical chorus. "One", on the other hand, is Enter The Hunt's magnum opus and best represents the album. With an excellent opening riff and overwhelming guitar melodies, "One" is further intensified with Krister's best vocal performance throughout the album - ranging from faint whispering to the high notes in the choruses.
"For Life Til Death, to Hell With Love" has very little, if no, flaws at all. Yes, the production is very raw and unpolished, but most listeners would still be able to indulge themselves in the music without much problem. Listeners might be disappointed with the lengths of the songs, which are, in average, around three and a half to four minutes; listening to the album makes it quite obvious that they could clearly create longer songs without any drop in quality. Nevertheless, these are only trivial matters. Enter The Hunt's "For Life Til Death, to Hell With Love" is energetic, dark, mystical and somewhat mysterious at the same time. Their music have remained in the realm of the Unheard for too long; it is high time they were introduced to the world.