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| 8 August 2019 | Reply

Label: Napalm Records

Release Date: June 28, 2019

Rating: 85%

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

Full disclosure – I have the entire Bloody Hammers catalog in my CD collection (yes, I still purchase CD’s).  That said, I was pleasantly surprised that the latest offering had taken the sound they have been associated with and twisted it with a mainstream rock vibe on several of the tracks on this latest release.  Disc opener “Let Sleeping Corpses Lie” kicks off with a great guitar riff that swirls nicely in the mix with the drums and keyboards.  While the keyboards keep the previous Bloody Hammers sound intact, the guitars and drums knock this into more of a rock vein than a goth or doom style.  Rest assured, the lyrical content has not deviated from the path cut by Anders Manga over the four previous releases.  “Now the Screaming Starts” starts off with a guitar riff ripped from most 1980’s radio rock tracks and is another example of Manga embracing a mainstream rock vibe, even though the keyboards and lyrics point elsewhere.  The drumming and cadence get the head banging and don’t let up until the songs final note is played.  “Fire in the Dark” has a similar sound to other songs from the bands previous releases, but seems to fit alongside the new track and sometimes more apparent direction of the bands sound.  The vocals are different and seems to be more monotone than others on the collection, but fits the steady handed drums and chugging riffs.  “Welcome to Darkness” is the song that best defines the bands sound on this new disc.  There are hints and traces of the catalog splashed into the track, especially the lyrical content, but it is hard to ignore the guitar work on this track.  This is one of the songs I find myself going back to time and time again.  “Condemned, The Prisoner” is a much slower track that leans heavily on the vocals and veers away from the path cut by the other tracks on this disc.  The chorus and bridge are typical Bloody Hammers fare, but it took a while to get there.

Title track “The Summoning” leans more into the bands catalog sonically.  The down tuned guitars, heavier vocal sound, and the keyboard woven throughout the tracks musical landscape help tie the new release to the catalog.  While a bit doom and gloom in sound, the vocals on this one seem different and stand out a bit.  “The Beast is Coming Out” is a cool track that takes a more mellow approach to the music and pace of the disc.  The slowed tempo enhances the delivery of the lyrics.  The vocals are layered just enough to add punch to the chorus while Devallia’s keyboards add depth.  “Tales that Witness Madness” is a solid rocker that incorporates a great tempo and some heavy handed drums to go with the vocals that are emotive and show off a bit of Anders’ vocal range (well as much as any of his songs do).  The vibe of the track blends perfectly with the other tracks on the disc and benefits from the previously mentioned tempo shift.  “From Beyond the Grave” keeps the groove and tempo of the disc flowing with another song that is a good blend of mainstream rock sound and the Hammers sound.  The vocals are solid and swirl nicely in the mix with the guitars and keyboards.  Disc closer “Unbreakable” delivers the second part of a great one-two punch to close out the disc.  The drums are great, the vocals tight, and the guitars help guide the song between verse, chorus, bridge, and back again.  The breakneck speed of the drums give the track a modern feel while capturing the bands sound.

Tracklisting: Let Sleeping Corpses Lie – Now the Screaming Starts – The Summoning – Fire in the Dark – The Beast is Coming Out – Welcome to Darkness – Tales that Witness Madness – Condemned, The Prisoner – From Beyond the Grave – Unbreakable






Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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