A Life Once Lost - Hunter (Cover Artwork)

A Life Once Lost

Hunter (2005)


If you have never heard of A Life Once Lost, but you know that they are going to be on the "Sounds of the Underground" tour, then you probably have a pretty good idea of what they sound like. A Life Once Lost is almost a full-fledged metal band that hides behind jack-hammering, bone-crushing riffs with little variation throughout. They are one of those metalcore bands, the kinds that have been popping up all over the place, but also the ones that sometimes can't break into the limelight of originality.

Unfortunately, A Life Once Lost's new effort Hunter is the perfect example of one of these types of metalcore bands. The vocals are the standard death metal variation straight from the throat, achieving strangled gargles to hit the high end of the spectrum, but generally finding solace in a more frightening low growl. Like any good almost metal band, A Life Once Lost peppers the album with little guitar solos and ill-placed pinch harmonics, but in the end, it is too little to save an album as monotonously boring as Hunter from anything.

They plow through eleven tracks with a ruthlessly efficiency. They assault the eardrums for thirty-six minutes as if it truly is their job. The music has the heart, but it doesn't have the technical wizardry behind any of it to make it stand out. And while the band doesn't try to hide behind the fact that they are anything less than this barrage of heavy noise, the release is so dull that A Life Once Lost set the bar just a bit too low. They wear their influences on their sleeve and in this case, a bit too much. At many points, the music becomes so similar to Meshuggah, it is impossible to tell a difference between the two, save for that the former is better sounding. Hunter lacks any ingenuity that makes it stick out from the rest of the pack, and so while bands like Unearth are thinking of new and creative ways to break down the breakdown, A Life Once Lost will be entertaining kids on the exact same tour, with a very similar sound, only played out much worse.