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Classic Review: Scanner - Hypertrace

Label: Noise Records
Year released: 1988
Duration: 40:32
Tracks: 10
Genre: Speed Metal

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: February 25, 2004
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating

Rated 4.08/5 (81.67%) (60 Votes)

It's interesting to see that Scanner were doing back in 1988 what many power metal bands are doing today. Well, to be fair, Helloween did this a couple of years before. Back then, this music style was just called "speed metal" (same for Helloween.) "Hypertrace" sounds a bit like a mix of "Walls of Jericho" and "Keeper.. Part 1", with the rawer elements of Walls... blended in nicely with the clean, speedy and somewhat "happy" elements of Keeper... Add to this a singer that sounds a bit like Kai Hansen (maybe with a little more range), and a good but not overly clean production (just perfect for the band's sound, in my opinion.) Scanner at the time presented something that was still a novelty (not so much today), with speedy guitars, high pitched clean vocals, quite a bitch of catchy choruses and choirs aplenty. I don't know if they were the first Helloween clone, but these guys are so good that it would be wrong to dismiss them as such.

I don't know about the band's other albums, but lyrically "Hypertrace" revolves around a sci-fi theme - this of course will be hit-or-miss with many people. The music however is simply great, a catchy album from beginning to end, the kind that makes you simply hit the Repeat button on the CD player. Great guitar playing (and some wicked solos), lots of variety in the singing and demented drumming all blended together into a great atmosphere that makes this really feel like an album, not just an assortment of random songs. Metal! Listen, there's no other way to put it: This album simply kills. If you like very early Helloween, you should definitely check out this album.

Other related information on the site
Review: Hypertrace (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Hypertrace (Re-release) (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: The Judgement (reviewed by MetalMike)
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