|Review: Hanker - Conspiracy of Mass Extinction|
|Conspiracy of Mass Extinction|
Label: Hellion Records
Year released: 2010
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: July 3, 2018
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
for:Conspiracy of Mass Extinction
I got this album in 2009, nearly a year before its official release, and I only recently realized that I had not reviewed it! This is one of my favourite bands of all times and it's also because of that band that I started this site (see the editorial 10 Years and Counting). Doesn't make much sense now, does it? Oh well. Time to rectify that oversight and, by the way, this is also the 10,000th review on the site, so in a sense it's fitting since the first one was a review of a Hanker album.
I still consider Hanker's first three albums to be pretty flawless – the quality of the songs overriding any criticism one may have about things like production – and then Web of Faith was very well received, but it felt a bit off here and there. Conspiracy of Mass Extinction sees Hanker at the top of their game, and I'm not saying that just because I'm a huge fan. OK, maybe a little... Hey, it's my review. So there.
I won't go into a long one here. I've grown tired of track-by-track reviews. All the ingredients that have made up Hanker's signature sound on their previous albums are present here. Catchy, beautiful melodies, wicked solos, powerful vocals with lines and choruses that just make you want to sing along and just won't get out of your head. A basic traditional heavy metal sound augmented by a power metal vibe and a hint of thrash riffage here and there, bringing a rough, raw and aggressive edge to the songs. That's something that Hanker have always excelled at and, on this album, they have perfected their art. The band also has a knack for having emotion splurge out of the speakers. These songs feel alive.
I'm listening to the album as I write this and every single song has something "special" that would be worth writing about, but that would make this review way too long. What I can say is that there is not one weak track here. No need to reach for the skip button at any point.
So there you have it. My fanboy review. ? But it's honest. I own over 5,000 albums and this is way up there. Alas, Conspiracy of Mass Extinction would be Hanker's swan song. In 2011, after 26 years, the band called it quits for a variety of reasons, most of which shared by countless good bands that deserved more spotlight but always remained in the shadows. It's a damn shame, but they left us with five excellent albums that have withstood the test of time.
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Interview with singer/guitarist Pascal Cliche on April 21, 2001 (Interviewed by Michel Renaud)
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