Review Summary: Sleaze, dirt, and black magic lurk within this addictive beast of a debut. Satan would be proud.
Coming out of nowhere, America's doom-tastic Bloody Hammers unleashes quite an impressive psychadelic debut chalk full of meaty riffs and crooning, melodic vocals. Along with an occult atmosphere most heavy metal bands could only dream of, Bloody Hammers sets the bar high for those artists wishing the glory days of doom and stoner metal were at their peak. The cover looks fairly ugly in my opinion, however it does scream retro and authenticity like no other. 1970's occultists would be proud!
The album includes ten tracks and ten winners at that. The passion and energy which oozes from your speakers with songs like 'Black Magic', 'Fear No Evil', and the chugging riffage of 'Beyond the Door' are almost too good for my stubborn metal mind to handle. Some tracks dip a bit in quality such as 'The Last Legion of Sorrow' which does not kick the listener in the face and then strangle his windpipe like the previously mentioned tracks. 'Trisect' has one hell of a riff to start off with, but falls flat from lack of creativity in the chorus. It should be mentioned that vocalist Andres Magna puts on a stellar performance which propels the album far beyond what it otherwise would have been without him. He can sound downright dirty and sexy one minute, then suddenly change his persona to commanding and angered. Personally, I believe only a vocalist as seasoned as Magna could possibly belt out the lyrics to 'Witch of Endor' without cracking a smile.
Thankfully the lyrics are not as bad one would think regarding a doom/stoner rock album. Even though the same, cliche subjects like witchcraft and black magic are hit on continuously, they never sound forced or phoned in. The band plays with such cohesive focus that it is impossible to not appreciate the love they have for this kind of music. Some tracks such as the bombastic 'Souls on Fire' bring the listener back to the days of classic Black Sabbath circa 1974. Now I must say something about the production. This will the make or break point for many listeners regarding their ability to like this album. I for one prefer the sleazy, dirty production on display here becasue it enhances the heaviness but most importantly increases the authenticity of an album which was concieved thrirty years too late. This is the album we all wish early Black Sabbath or Type O Negative would have dreamed up but alas, we're here today in the present and Bloody Hammers ain't going anywhere. And with new matetrial for a sophmore release already underway, what more could a fan of the genre want?