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Scanner - Hypertrace

=Staff's pick

Warp 7*
Locked Out
Across the Universe*
Grapes of Fear*
Retaliation Positive
Killing Fields
Wizard Force*

Genre Power Metal
Michael Knoblich
Tracks 9
Tom S. Sopha
Runningtime 43 Min.
Axel A.J. Julius
Label Noise Records
Martin Bork
Release 24 March 1988
Wolfgang Kolorz
Country Germany
Similar artists Running Wild

Classic German Power Metal is something very special for me and style forming bands like Scanner must of course be represented here at the Nostalgic Section of Metal Covenant. Hypertrace is the debut album of the band and besides that also a concept one. The topic is a science fiction/space theme, which was a very unusual back then and seldom used before, so Scanner were a bit ahead of their time in more than one aspect. The story can be considered a bit tame and far fetched compared to our present view but I'd say it still works and is nicelly incorporated in the songs.

Their sound mainy revolves around the power chord based guitars which provide characteristics like chopping rhtythms, loads of shredding and solos that of course are supported by excellent thundering double bass drumming in the old and back-to-the-roots power metal style. The disc contains a great mixture of up- and midtempo tracks and some effects are added which make you feel almost like you're being sucked into their created science fiction world. The clear and higher pitched vocals of Michael Knopflig resemble Michael Kiskes in especially the high ranges and soaring parts.

Apart from that, some Helloween and early Gamma Ray sounding riffing can be found and if you've listened to Running Wild's Gates of Purgatory and Branded and Exiled you also get a hint of what awaits you here. Overall Scanners sound is very straightforward and fans of German power metal will find it very diggestable and despite that the album is more than 15 years old, its style makes it feel fresch and powerful even today.

The album was re-issued a few years ago but might still prove to be a bit hard to get hold of.
However, the band is still active but with a different line up. 2002 their latest album Scantropolis was released, but then with a female vocalist, Lisa Croft and a style that doesn't much resemble the Scanner of the past. So my opinion is that Hypertrace and the albums Terminal Earth, Mental Reservation and Ball of the Damned are metal releases that shouldn't pass you by unnoticed. I'd even go as far as saying that any of these mentioned Scanner albums should be in your possession if you want a metal collection that doesn't totally embarass itself!






8,5 chalices of 10 - Mat

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