Review: Bloody Hammers – ‘The Horrific Case Of..’

Bloody Hammers is such a descriptive name for a band, don’t you think? I read it and think of horror films where a hammer is the weapon of choice. Strangely enough I checked out this EP with Denzel Washington as ‘The Equalizer’ on in the background (men CAN multitask you know). After dealing with some punk, he returns his weapon back to the racks of the hardware store he works in. The weapon being a hammer… a bloody hammer. Everything image-wise about Bloody Hammers screams horror movies. The image of the band is very visual and powerful and thankfully, the music doesn’t let the imagery down. Bloody Hammers are Anders Manga, who handles the vocals as well as the guitars, and his wife Devallia, who provides the hugely atmospheric keyboard sounds that are prevalent throughout. Comparisons to Ghost are easy to make, but perhaps a tad lazy, the visuals are quite similar, but the sound is very different. Whereas Papa E and his merry men delve into the prog side of things, Bloody Hammers go all out doom and goth, think Sisters Of Mercy meets Type O Negative. Manga has the same powerful, mournful voice that both Andrew Eldritch and the much missed Pete Steele have/had. It booms out of the speakers over a wall of riffs on the opening track ‘Gates Of Hell’. Dark, mysterious, and very, very cool. The keyboards from Devallia stay mostly in the background as Manga delivers some Pantera sized riffs, but she makes her presence felt when she unleashes a short organ solo midway through. ‘Blood’ ups the ante, as Manga changes between a low booming sound and more of a traditional metal vocal in places. The song mashes up quite a few different styles, but there’s no point in tying yourself up with sub-genres… it’s rock music. Devallia steals the show on ‘The Beyond’, which is all about her sublime keyboard sound. Beginning like a soundtrack to a Michael Mann movie, the deep atmospheric keyboards mix it up with gentle piano and a massive synth ending. Bloody beautiful… ‘Vultures Circle Overland’ is immense. Buzzsaw guitars, tortured vocals… and any song that name checks Valhalla is fine by me. The guitar sound crushes, as Manga lets fly. ‘All The Colors Of The Dark’ has a gorgeous, spooky organ sound in the background that mixes well with the hypnotic drum beat throughout. The guitars are very much king on this one, but Manga again delivers another powerful vocal performance.There is so much going on in this one that I recommended checking it out on a decent pair of cans. My first visit was without headphones, so a lot was lost, but as soon as I plugged in… oooft! ‘The Bloodsucker Leads The Dance’ is pure Goth heaven. Fans of The Cure and Sisters Of Mercy will just as likely to get as much out of it as fans of Sabbath etc. One of those, “they don’t make them like they used to” moments. ‘The Horrific Case Of Bloody Hammers’ is available now digitally, but you don’t want to do that. No, you want to get the ultra limited vinyl version. Limited to just 300 copies. Sometimes only vinyl will do. When you see the artwork, you will realise that this is one of those times. Review – Dave Stott  ]]>

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