Scanner - Hypertrace
Noise Records
Power Metal
9 songs (42:37)
Release year: 1989
Noise Records
Reviewed by Mike
Untitled Document

Here we have an album that was long forgotten until it was reissued a couple years ago, but is still a hard find today. Hypertrace is a power metal album rooted in a science-fiction theme. Printed in the booklet, there is a short story containing the titles to each of the songs about seven renegade WWII militants. The story itself will likely make you chuckle (though it is quite clever), but it gives the music a unique and interesting twist, especially for the time period in which it was recorded.

The music itself is a strong riff based power metal complete with clean, higher pitched vocals (reminiscent of Michael Kiske in spots), thundering double bass and yet very catchy all at once. The added futuristic sounds within some of the tracks add emphasize the science-fiction theme and give the music its own identifiable character. The first five tracks on this album, where I will focus most of my attention, are probably the most memorable although each track is very strong. Warp 7 starts the disc off with an interesting solo which gives way to a lightning fast riff and double bass drums. A few futuristic sounds mixed in on occasion, combined with the fast pace of this number will give you the feeling that you are zooming through space at Warp 7. Next is Terrion, another speedy number with a nice hook that stays with you after just the first listen. Locked Out is up next and is about passengers locked out of their spaceship for 2,000 days floating aimlessly through space. Appropriately enough, the song starts with an ominous intro, then picks up speed. This is one of the standout tracks on the disc as the chorus lines feature some outstanding backing vocals and excellent guitar shreds that almost speak the pain of these poor guys trapped in space. Not until the next track, Across the Universe does the speed let up. This track is a mid tempo cut that again feature huge backing vocals throughout, reminiscent of early Gamma Ray material. Next up, R.M.U. has a riff that instantly reminds me of Helloween’s Save Us, which isn’t a bad thing since that is one of my top 3 songs from the Keepers era Helloween. Rounding out the disc are 3 more speedy tracks and a mid tempo track. Of these tracks, I feel that Grapes of Fear is one of the better vocal efforts of Michael Knoblich on the disc. We see soaring vocals throughout this track that again hint at Michael Kiske caliber vocals, but with just a little bit less restraint and a thicker accent. Killing Fields and Wizard Force both have some noteworthy shredding throughout, featuring some of the better guitar solos on the disc.

This is classic power metal in fine form, but with a unique spin with the science-fiction theme. Although the story itself may be a bit far fetched, it gives the album a unique feel and makes for a very interesting listen. In addition, the excellent guitar work will also be a treat to your ears. The musicianship is outstanding, as those who like a lot of shredding, guitar solos, and double bass will not be let down. This album also has its share of hooks and melodies that stick with you. Although not impossible to find this album as it was a few years ago, it is again out of print (to my best knowledge), so I would recommend picking this one up if you come across it. The band also released 3 subsequent albums before disbanding. Their follow up to Hypertrace, Terminal Earth features S.L. Coe (ex- Angel Dust) on vocals. All four Scanner albums have a place in any power metal collection.

Killing Songs :
Warp 7, Terrion, Locked Out, R.M.U.
Mike quoted 92 / 100
Other albums by Scanner that we have reviewed:
Scanner - The Judgement reviewed by Andy and quoted 85 / 100
Scanner - Mental Reservation reviewed by Mike and quoted 93 / 100
Scanner - Scantropolis reviewed by Mike and quoted 78 / 100
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