In movies, books, artwork, and general folklore, the prehistoric woolly mammoth has, throughout history, often been portrayed as a gigantic, lumbering peacefully-minded juggernaut that will, however, put any would-be predator and/or dipshit, Neanderthal asshole square in their place if the elephant-like giant felt at all threatened. I’m guessing that being stomped into the tundra by one of these beasts would be no picnic. You can also rest assured that if I were born as a cave-dweller, I’d have no problem at all with choosing a different, yet massively easier-to-hunt, food source. Meanwhile, there’s the whole age-old, time-tested concept of hunter vs. prey. I mean, we’ve all seen the nature video footage of a pack of lions systematically taking down a gazelle, or a group of hyenas “laughing” maniacally, swarming around their intended afternoon snack. When their hungry enough, owls will swoop right-the-fuck down on an unsuspecting rodent and fly the little guy up into the trees to be gulped down in a single bite. Meanwhile, there are people in some parts of the world that believe the woolly mammoth was not quite the victim it’s all-too-often cracked up to be. Some reports would lead the reader to the notion that the mammoth was indeed a carnivore. Can you imagine that? Out on the afternoon hunt with your cave-pal, Torg…dirty, sweating, wielding spears and ready to fuck shit up just in time for dinner. When out of nowhere comes a colossal nappy-haired elephant, frothing at the mouth, ripping Torg from his feet and crunching him in its jaws like a damn Dorito chip. “Go the fuck home.” would be the message that would send me. But you see, ladies and gentlemen, beasts like this still exist to this day, albeit in musical form. Monstrosities that will crush you to dust under their sheer battering ram of power. Faithful reader, take heed for you are without a doubt the prey. It takes great pleasure knowing I have witnessed your demise. Take notice of Chicago’s riff-a-holic stoner/sludge answer to the meat-eating version of the woolly mammoth…Hunters!!
Produced by Andrew Ragin of fellow Chicago’s psychedelic sludge-throwers, The Atlas Moth, and co-mixed/mastered by the legendary James Murphy (Testament, Death, Obituary), the independently-released From Birth to Soil serves as the raging debut full-length from these Windy City monsters. Eight tracks of bone-shattering hell is what awaits you here. Clocking in at just over half an hour and seamlessly combining the groove-laden attitude of the southern sludge-meets-rock sound of bands like Crowbar, Corrosion of Conformity, or Down with a vocal rage similar to early (and decidedly more aggressive) Mastodon, or many of their like-minded Chicago peers, Hunters unleash numbers like rumbling openers “Predatory Skin” and “Engine of Deceit” on us all with the notion that there is no turning back…no escape from the ravenous rampage. I mentioned a sense of groove, right? Well, that shit keeps flowing like whiskey (or blood, depending on your vantage point) with the likes of “Grime Maiden.” Meanwhile, “Tapeworms” and “Cult of the Cross” drive the madness deep within the skull with a more metallic approach…the growl and screech alternating for a marvelously lethal effect with the riffs and percussion driving it home like a herd of gigantic, hunger-driven, tusked carnivores ripping through your living room.
With all of this in mind, you’d be a damn fool to sleep on this joint. I caught Hunters recently in Indianapolis and can attest to the fact that the band has an uncanny ability to translate the flawless wrath of their live show in a studio recording. What you hear live is what you get on your damn stereo with Hunters. So, keep that in mind, when this beast is upon you!