Greathunter – Prey

November 3rd, 2017 by  |  Published in Features, Local Releases  |  1 Comment

Great hunter - logo

On their debut full length album Prey, Ottawa’s own Greathunter strikes a wonderful balance between ambition and subtly. The seven tracks on this album all have wonderfully nuanced production and dense compositions, but they are definitely not making noise for the sake of being heard. Every added layer of instrumentation feels so purposeful and vibrant in the mix, especially as the band builds to these overwhelming and soaring climaxes. At just under 30 minutes, this album doesn’t overstay it’s welcome, but delivers solid, concise and gorgeous rock music that is both uplifting and slightly melancholic at the same time.

Take the track “Satellites”, one of the albums centrepieces. The songs starts with a stellar guitar line and some booming drums, but as the song moves along, it grows more and more airy. Droning synths brighten up the track and soar in the background, and the group vocal harmonies lead into an explosion that feels like the end of a firework show. This track transitions into another sure highpoint on this album, “Fox”, which is much more brooding than the song preceding it. The weeping violin on this cut is so ominous and haunting, and paired with the vocals, this is the truly the sound of “embracing the unknown”, a note written in the liner notes of this album.

Perhaps one of this albums biggest selling points is how seamlessly it blends live instrumentation with synths and sequenced drums, creating this soundscape that is rich and full, but also chilling and even eerie at times. The opening track “Time To Depart” has both sequenced drums and some beautiful string embellishments that feel so live and in the moment. The real kicker of this track, though, is during the songs crescendo, in which a trumpet pops in that makes this departure feel so triumphant, but also nostalgic, calling out to post-rock bands like Godspeed You! Black Emperor. For an album opener, this is surely one killer send off.

And when this band wants to get loud, gratefully, they don’t hold back. The title track has possibly the best finish on any of these songs, starting with a lovely electric guitar and violin passage that breaks into an overpowering sequence where guitars and drums and synths and horns begin crashing down on top of one another.

I don’t want to talk about specifics too much, as I feel like an album of this caliber doesn’t deserve spoilers. However, if you are at all a fan of post-rock, shoegaze, or just instrumentally dense rock music in general, do not let this album slip by you. These guys are making waves, and Prey is the mark of a band that shows a ton of promise.

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Great hunter - PREY - album cover


  1. Rococode will return to House of TARG on November 14th - Spotlight Ottawa :: Spotlight Ottawa - Your local music scene. Get out and experience it! says:

    November 13th, 2017at 10:10 pm(#)

    […] Also added to the bill are Ottawa’s Greathunter. Check out our recent album review for their debut release – PREY. […]