Great Metal Albums of 1983: Krokus- Headhunter


Like Quiet Riot, Krokus were another heavy metal band in 1983 who will forever be considered one hit wonders by the so called mainstream music world but boy what a song it was. Whenever I hear “Screaming in the Night,” I am blown away by it now as I was back then. The way the lead guitar comes in supported by bass and drums on the intro just sounds ear catchingly eerie. It used to send a chill up me and Marc Storace’s vocals added to that eerie feeling.Then when the guitars kick in, things just explode into metal euphoria. It is definitely in my top five of all time metal songs. I think that the only reason it’s not number one is that the guitar solo lets it down. Only slightly but enough to keep it off number one.

Now, as I said for probably the 710,534th time, one song doesn’t make an album, so the question is: Does the rest of “Headhunter” measure up? Obviously, there are no songs on it that stand up to the big single. Still, the rest of the album is pretty cool. The title track may only be a mediocre opener but “Eat the Rich” more than makes up for it. The two tracks that follow “Screaming in the Night” are more classic metal tunes and of the two, I prefer “Nightwolf.” There’s almost a Judas Priest vibe on it but the weird thing is that Rob Halford does a guest backing vocal on the other track, “Ready to Burn.” However, after those two tracks comes my second favourite song on the album, “Stayed Awake All Night.” This two was released as a single but is not as memorable as the first one. Maybe it’s because the song is more melodic than the others, sounds a bit like The Who, but all I know is that I like it. The final three tracks carry “Headhunter” out very well. “Stand and Be Counted” is a strong track and the instrumental, “White Din” is interesting. Unlike the opener, “Russian Winter” is a very nice closer, if not one of the better tracks on the album.

At the time, what impressed me the most about Krokus at the time was the fact they were Swiss. Back then, I naively thought that all the best metal bands came from the US, UK or Canada, the Scorpions being the exception. I was glad that a band came from another country because fast forwarding to now, we can say that heavy metal is truly world wide and it may have just started here.

Track Listing:

  1. Headhunter
  2. Eat the Rich
  3.  Screaming in the Night
  4. Ready to Burn
  5. Nightwolf
  6. Stayed Awake All Night
  7. Stand and be Counted
  8. White Din
  9. Russian Winter


Marc Storace- vocals

Fernando Von Arb- lead guitar

Mark Koehler- rhythm guitar

Chris von Rohr- bass, piano, percussion

Steve Pace- drums

Additional Vocals:

Rob Halford- backing vocals on “Ready to Burn”

Jimi Jamison- backing vocals

Unfortunately, in spite of a cool album with a great single, like Quiet Riot, Krokus would fade from mainstream attention for the same reason. Their follow up albums wouldn’t be a great as the ones they made in 1983. That’s all the more reason to enjoy “Headhunter.” For me, it’s Krokus’s best album.

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6 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1983: Krokus- Headhunter”

  1. Just logged in and was greeted with your awesome post! I LOVE this album, and thanks to your post it’s now on my list of CD’s to look for and hopefully find (I still have the vinyl). It was my first concert I think – age 14 – and Krokus opened up for Ted Nugent! Nobody even knew who they were, but I instantly became a huge fan! Used to listen to “Stayed Awake All Night” as a teenager when I couldn’t sleep! Lol! Thanks so much for this review…it’s awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you and thank you again Rebecca! The only time I saw Krokus was on the tour for their next album, The Blitz. They opened for Sammy Hagar. “Stayed Awake All Night” is a very appropriate song when you can’t sleep.


  3. Couldn’t agree more about this album. It was by far their best and I remember getting this in cassette and wearing it out. I even had one of their posters on my wall. Aside from Screaming in the Night, my other favorite was Eat the Rich. They were the biggest selling band in Switzerland until the band Gotthard finally passed them about 10 years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t know that about Krokus being the best selling band until Gotthard but then I like Gotthard. I think everyone’s favourite track on here is Screaming in the Night but there are a lot of potential candidates for second including Eat the Rich. Nightwolf would be another one.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice writeup Sir! I caught Krokus opening for Sammy Hagar in Oct of 1984! Great double bill..Krokus was plugging The Blitz so the focus was on that record as they only played I believe Screaming In the Night and Headhunter which was ok but I would have preferred more stuff from Headhunter…..

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