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June 2005
Released: 2004, Skyscraper Music
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: EvilG

Hanker should be huge. So why aren't they? Is it the band name that stops people from taking them seriously? Maybe it brings to mind the old commercial with the cartoon dude "hankering for a hunka, a slice or slab or chunka cheese"? Maybe it's because they are from Quebec Canada? Maybe it's that their euro-power metal sound doesn't go down as well in North America? To be fair, the band has had some success and they do have a loyal following, as I'm sure some Hanker fans are boiling at my questions! The question I continue to have is why aren't they huge? If you like traditional/power metal, you should do yourself a favor and check out Hanker!

"Empower" is a great opener for the CD with fast riffing and great playing. Currently this is my favorite track on the CD. "Stigmata" is another ear-opener with a very powerful melodic chorus carried by the vocals. "The Search" starts out with some thrashy riffing before breaking into Maiden inspired territory. If you love old Maiden riffing (POWERSLAVE-era comes to mind) then there is lots to discover on here such as in "Under Cover of Darkness", "Face To Face", and the multi-faceted and lengthy track "Web of Faith". The only thing holding this album from a 5/5 rating is the ballad tracks starting with "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea" which drags right from the beginning. It does pick up around 1:20, but by then my attention is lost and I usually have hit the skip button to the next track. Hanker are not a ballad band! This is also the problem with "The Hunstsman" which gets better after the clean guitar opening but is still too slow and drags.

I'm at a loss as to why this band isn't up there in the international scene with the other power/traditional metal greats. Give them a chance and find out what you've been missing. Hopefully Hanker will persevere, stay true to the path they are on...and release another album without such a long wait (the last album was from 2000)!! WEB OF FAITH is their best release to date, and it's high time the band got the attention it deserves!
Track Listing

1. Empower
2. Inside Me
3. Stigmata
4. Let Me Out
5. Do Or Die
6. Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea
7. The Search
8. Under Cover Of Darkness
9. Face To Face
10. Point Of No Return
11. The Huntsman
12. Web Of Faith


Luc Guay – drums
Patrick Gravel – guitar/vocals
Pascal Cliché – lead vocals / guitar
Denis Cossette – bass

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