Silver Hunter is a collaboration between Tim Hunter (who has released many albums on his label) and Thierry Sportouche (Silver Lining), so no guessing where the name came from. I have known Thierry for probably at least twenty years, but not as a musician but instead as the driving force behind Acid Dragon, probably one of the longest-running progzines around. Here he provides vocals and keyboards, while Tim provides vocals, guitar, keyboards and drums. They are joined by some other musicians and female backing vocals to give this Anglo/French duo a real band feel.
In some ways, this is quite a strange album, as although it is firmly within the progressive camp, there are so many different influences and styles in play that the album switches all the way through. 'The Silver Key' talks about the Silver Hunters, so is the closest they have to a theme song, and feels heavily influenced by diverse as Steve Miller, not someone who often features in prog reviews. There are spoken word sections, and I particularly love 'Dr. Beyond and the Prisoner of Dreams' which is about the Asylum of Musical Delusion ' we all know people and full bands who belong there. The story is spoken against a musical and sound effect backdrop, and is quite simple but is stunningly powerful. I also like how in another song Thierry announces that he is 'High Priest of Prog' ' in France that could well be the case.
This does feel like an independent release, and there are times when it is quite raw, but it is also strangely compelling. The first time I played it I wasn't too sure, but found that there were bits and pieces that stuck with me, and the more I have persevered the more I have found that to be the case and sometimes find myself singing snippets of the songs on here, which isn't something that usually happens. This doesn't appear to have had much in the way of reviews so far, even though it came out last year, and that may well be because it doesn't really fit in with most people's idea of prog, and is quite Seventies in approach at times as well, but overall I found that this is an album I really enjoyed. I hope there is enough interest to release another one soon.