RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Krokus – Headhunter
Rock Candy Records

www.rockcandyrecords.com

Rating: A

Krokus was gaining more and more popularity with their just a little bit more metal than AC/DC sound.  The album previous to this one, One Vice at a Time led off the AC/DC sound-alike track “Long Stick Goes Boom.”  The tune, along with a rocking cover of the Guess Who’s classic “American Woman” was in heavy rotation on AOR stations around the USA. 

The band was still not quite there yet, but they were well on their way.  They needed a big, loud hard-rock album with a hit song on it to take them over the top.  Enter producer Tom Allom, who knew a thing or two about the situation facing Krokus as he and his production skills helped take Judas Priest to the top of the American Metal world.  The result was the biggest, baddest and best album Krokus ever created. 

Headhunter was the total package.  The look of the album cover with the big skull and crossbones, the title, and most importantly, the music, shouted out to the under 21 male heavy-metal community.  When the song “Screamin’ in the Night” hit the airwaves, Krokus skyrocketed to international stardom.  That song gave the band a format that widened their fan base; they didn’t, however, sell out or cater to the flavor of the day. 

Actually, outside of “Screamin’,” Krokus now rocked harder than before.  The title track is brutally heavy and starts off the album with a bang.  Volume buttons were being twisted as far right as they could go, and the album continued to deliver.  “Eat the Rich” is a crazy tune that is over the top.  “Ready to Burn” featured Rob Halford on backing vocals and kept the heavy metal massacre going strong.  “Night Wolf” is another distorted power Krokus Klassic.  Each album by Krokus sees a remake, and this time they snuck a Bachman Turner Overdrive tune into the set.  “Stayed Awake All Night” is one of the rare moments where the original pales in comparison to the reinterpretation.

Rock Candy Records has brought Headhunter back to life some 31 years down the road.  This album is a perfect example of heavy rock before the hair-metal era set in.  Soon, the genre of metal would be infested by hair spray and spandex, and the original intent and danger of bands like Krokus would fade.  The genre would forever splinter into many factions.  With Headhunter, Krokus showed how a band could be true to themselves and find integrity and originality in their music, all the while wearing their influences on their sleeve. 

The Rock Candy Records version is remastered from 24 BIT digital technology and contains a 16-page full color booklet complete with new interviews and rare photos. 

This one falls under the must-own category, so snap up the Rock Candy version of Headhunter and crank up Krokus in all their heavy metal glory. 

TRACK LISTING:
1. HEADHUNTER
2. EAT THE RICH
3. SCREAMING IN THE NIGHT
4. READY TO BURN
5. NIGHT WOLF
6. STAYED AWAKE ALL NIGHT
7. STAND AND BE COUNTED
8. WHITE DIN
9. RUSSIAN WINTER

By Jeb Wright

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