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Articles Home » 1983 Articles » Krokus - 1983 Headhunter
Krokus - 1983 Headhunter

ARTIST: Krokus
ALBUM: Headhunter
LABEL: Arista
SERIAL: 205 255 (UK), 9623 (USA)
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: 1988, Arista, 255255 * 2014, Rock Candy Records (UK), CANDY250


LINEUP: Marc Storace - vocals * Fernando Von Arb - guitars * Mark Kohler - guitars * Chris Von Rohr - bass * Steve Pace - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Headhunter * 02 Eat The Rich * 03 Screaming In The Night * 04 Ready To Burn * 05 Night Wolf * 06 Stayed Awake All Night * 07 Stand And Be Counted * 08 White Din * 09 Russian Winter


'Headhunter' marked the end of Krokus' boogie era, which had lasted for four albums since 1978, and saw them take their one real shot at traditional heavy metal. It was a good shot. 'Headhunter' was the best metal album of 1983, surpassing the dozens of classics that year by artists like Iron Maiden and Saxon among throngs of others. 'Headhunter' finally broke Krokus in the US and elevated them to arena status and became their only platinum record. It remains one of the most energetic, exciting metal albums to this day. Not boogie nor hard rock.

The Songs
You know you're in for a treat from the opening few bars of the title cut. Pounding drums from Pace followed by truly brutal riffing far removed from the memorable AC/DC' ish efforts of yesteryear. It moves at top speed, Storace abandoning his Bon Scott voice and adopting the full pitch approach. Perhaps one of the greatest openers ever. 'Eat The Rich' builds it's heaviness as it goes, brooding riffs equalled by Storace's ultra cool vocals. 'Screaming In The Night' is the best known cut, a metal ballad supposedly, but gathers steam as it progresses through it's six plus minutes. A tour de force effort from Storace and the closest to an AOR chorus you'll get here. The tandem of Von Arb and Kohler tear it up on 'Ready To Burn', the unified riffs a solid wall of noise. Rob Halford (Judas Priest) is heard on backing vocals on the classic chanted chorus. 'Night Wolf' is an anthem and a class in perfect heavy metal. It's fast, has the riffs, the vocals, subject matter, everything. The bottom line in perfection in this genre. 'Stayed Awake All Night' is Krokus' then obligatory cover, this one of course the old Bachman Turner Overdrive classic, made Krokus' own by this updated rendition. 'Stand And Be Counted' is an 'us against them' anthem, melodic metal genius with brilliant lyrics like 'battle axe ready, in the danger zone'. 'White Din' is a quick instrumental which leads into 'Russian Winter', with it's galloping riffs and harsh subject matter relaying an authentic atmosphere of such a climate.

In Summary
Krokus moved back to hard rock for 1984's 'The Blitz' and never really attempted such an assault again. Krokus peaked with 'Headhunter' commercially and it erased the worn notion that they were simply AC/DC clones. It was music AC/DC never tried. Storace staked his claim here as an all time great. His power took new life under the new sound, and he owned the band with his charisma and cool. Krokus have long been a source of dismay for ponce journalists: I think they are one of the best bands ever. The force of 'Headhunter' is authentic; truly the heaviest metal you will ever hear.

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#1 | shelf stacker on October 03 2008 12:05:37
A fine, fine album. Screaming In The Night is a goose bump-inducing track! Still find myself sticking this album on when friends need convincing that Krokus were more than just AC/DC wannabes.
#2 | jeffrey343 on June 06 2014 21:35:14
I got this in 1983 based on 'Eat The Rich' and 'Screaming In The Night'. Side one of the LP got quite a bit more wear than side two, since the album lost a lot of momentum for me with 'Stayed Awake All Night', and the rest of it didn't entice me quite as much. I am in a Krokus mood today, and this is sounding quite good for the first time I've listened to the whole thing in quite some time. I need to explore some of their earlier albums too, as I've heard only a few of those songs.
#3 | englandashes on June 06 2014 22:09:22
I listened to One Vice at a time last weekend, which is absence from the articles which must be the last classic one that is missing, might have a bash at this one in a couple of weeks to cover the gap and as it's due to be reissued.....again
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