“Hunt” is the third full-length album for Swiss-Serbian symphonic metal act, Evolucija. From first impressions of the album, fans of music from Helion Prime, Leaves’ Eyes, and even a bit of an Amaranthe will find glimmers of enjoyment in this album. Unfortunately, the pretty generic songwriting and production quality will leave you most likely wanting to put on those bands instead.
This albums suffers from one of my biggest pet-peeves, and I wish there was a name for it, but the best way I can describe it is “epic intro transitions into very generic drums and lackluster vocals syndrome”. While singer Ilana Marinjes-von-Arx does a fine job navigating the music written for this album, her poor English diction is somewhat distracting. I would enjoy this band more if they sang in the native-tongue, which they may or may not have done on previous albums.
This leads to my next issue about this album - the way the vocals are mixed. The amount of reverb and autotune on the vocals are very present, and it is not clear that if this was the intention. It gives the sound an almost electronic feel, and is reminiscent of the way Helion Prime mixed the self-titled album (albeit with a vocalist of different quality). The sparsely-used harsh vocals were refreshing to hear as a juxtaposition to the mid-range female vocals - I’d be interested in how the growler played a role in future albums. The band appears to have a talented lead-guitarist, who has some shining solo moments, but it is the generic and predictable songwriting that leaves the listener disappointed. “Symphonic metal” is also a stretch of a description. Perhaps, again, it is the mixing, but the keyboard is only heard sparsely in the beginning of some tracks. There are not many “symphonic” elements or synths used throughout the album, which may enhance the music greatly.
The first track “Hunt” is probably overall the best and catchiest on the album. Unfortunately this power-metal-like tempo is the last you’ll hear on the album, as mid-tempo writing is what you’re going to get for the rest of it. “Reflections on a Blade” has a great galloping intro, only to be reduced to that big pet peeve. Most interesting track? “Portrait” has some of the most unpredictable qualities, with some middle-eastern vibes and a pretty cool guitar solo. There will certainly be fans of this album, but for your author, there needs to be something a bit more. Some work on production will serve them better in the future.
Label: Pure Steel Publishing (2018)
1. Hunt 2. A Rose Without No Name 3. Velvet Cage 4. Poet 5. Reflections On A Blade 6. Portrait 7. How I Wish 8. Lonely 9. Remorse 10. Metamorphosis