Review Summary: Cult classic within the Power Metal community.
Swedish Power metal has always been accused of being on the “generic” side of the genre; mainly because bands such as Hammerfall have always been regressing since their debut. Let me get this straight and out of the way; Hammerfall makes other power metal bands look bad, because everyone assumes they’re going to be like Hammerfall. In return, bands such as Sabaton, Nocturnal RItes, and Dream Evil have had to struggle to keep their distance from the disease of association with Hammerfall. In 2000 Persuader’s debut The Hunter
, defies stereotypical logic within the Swedish Power Metal scene and creates a worldwide cult classic within the genre. Yet, The Hunter
holds characteristics that can push the band all the way to the top tier brackets in the books for most power metalheads.
“Fire At Will” starts off with a sound-bite of someone flipping through radio channels. After a good 30 seconds or so, the album soon jumps into action with a pounding speed metal riff that can be compared to something off of Blind Guardian’s Follow the Blind
album. In fact, Persuader in general can be compared to Blind Guardian as a whole in a positive way rather than a negative way. Let’s face it; bands like Orden Ogan or Savage Circus try to be Blind Guardian in too many wrong ways. Persuader is one of those rare cases where the band itself draws heavy influence, but they add their own style of interpretation of speed/power metal instead of being a blatant rip-off. However, the vocalist without a doubt sees Hansi Kürsch as an idol. To be honest, the only difference between Hansi and Persuader’s vocalist is rasp. I was saying before, “Fire At Will” is an excellent album opener that kicks in after 30 seconds or so, which ultimately prepares the listener for what’s about to come in proceeding songs.
“Cursed”, “Escape”, “Heart And Steel”, and “... And There Was Light” are great examples of Persuader at their high point during the album, mainly because Persuader starts to showcase their true take on speed/power metal. During those songs we see the vocalist spread his wings and practically drops the Hansi Kürsch influence and molds his own vocal characteristics. Secondly, the guitar players progress their playing style consecutively after “As You Wish”. However, the main part of the album is inscribed in “The Hunter” and “Secrets”. Both of these songs run along with each other so well, that they can be mistaken as one big song. And that’s a pretty big accomplishment for any power metal band more then you may realize. Because the genre focuses on fantasy and other cheesy lyrical themes, and the transitions between songs don’t always flow together in the same sense that “The Hunter” and “Secrets” creates.
Despite a few Blind Guardian tendencies that pop up every now and again, Persuader still slam-dunks this album into the pit of gold. Superb guitar work, layered in with soaring vocals, and technical drum patterns blend together to create a cult classic for the power metal community. Even though these guys aren’t from Germany, they sure as hell can pull off the style many Germans have had extraordinary success with.