Artist: Blizzard Hunter
Release Title: The Path of Triumph
Release Date: 22 July, 2022
Label: Inti Records
Written by Aaron Michael Kobes
Blizzard Hunter is a Heavy Metal outfit hailing from Lima, Peru. While it may seem a well preserved time capsule harkening back to the earliest days of the genre, it is well on its way to carving its own path into the hallowed halls of Metal history with their newest entry, The Path to Triumph. With an amazing production quality, insanely tight musical performance to the point of regiment, accompanied alongside the top-tier vocal offerings of Sebastián “Dragón” Palma, Blizzard Hunter makes it look all too easy, and incredibly fun in the process.
The Path to Triumph is an incredibly economic record, wasting no time after the initial intro in On the Warpath to unleash its chops in all their heaviness in Final Flash with Lucho Sánchez and Ramon Lau doubling up on a part-riff, pat-solo-esque intro under cut by a steady Lalo “Indú” Salas riding a hardened bass line while Bruno Gadea keeps time with plenty of double-taps on the bass pedal to round it all out to an aggressive edge. This uniformity is a consistent feature throughout the album, and adds to the cohesiveness of the musical ensemble, to the point of a fluid motion of one member carrying a portion of the track in a solo, or breakdown,
before melding back into the fold as the listener is just coming to realize what took place. A perfect example of this is on the track Battlefield, wherein half way through there is an interlocking dual solo, performed by both Lucho and Ramon, that arise from, and return to a riff with a smooth and easy transition. This gives the listener a feeling that every single aspect of the performance is integral to the success of the track and album on a whole, precisely because they are so finely enmeshed with one another. This is in contrast to some other Metal acts, particularly Heavy Metal, wherein there is an overuse of a particular aspect, an example being-guitarists or guitar solos on a break away to the point of it becoming superfluous, rather than adding to the composition.
While a majority of the album is consistently upbeat, heavy and fast there are also moments of reflective downshifting and a track that could even be rightly considered a ballad. The tracks in question, Redemption for Tomorrow and The Last Time work to round out the album in a complimentary fashion for a number of reasons. The first of which is, it helps showcase Blizzard Hunter as a versed and accomplished group that is not afraid to take the lead out, after they take the lead out, exposing an area of vulnerability on The Last Time in the lament of a lost love, yet still keeping it Heavy Metal in the requisite fashion of solid ass guitar workings, solos, but leaving the lion’s share of the heavy lifting to Palma’s superb vocality and melancholic lyrics. The second reason is that it adds to the pacing of the album overall; so that there is not a constant running of the near hour long run time at such a quickened step. While it is true some Thrash Metal and Heavy Metal bands can pull off longer albums without a moment of respite, Blizzard Hunter has gone the more intelligent route in bringing the album to a winding down in its conclusion, The Last Time being marginally slower in tempo than its predecessor Redemption for Tomorrow with a track in between to liven it up just a little before the end. This ending also has the added effects of not abruptly ending the record, while at the same time killing any build up of residual monotony that tends to accumulate with hardened genre records. Though, Blizzard Hunter is not in any danger of such a build up, in this release, nor any future release that I can foresee.
Be righteous by listening to and supporting Blizzard Hunter on Bandcamp: https://blizzardhunter.bandcamp.com/album/the-path-of-triumph