September 22, 2014 Bloody Hammers – Under Satan’s Sun (Album Review)
With some smooth, haunting vocals and a Sabbath-esque flair for doom and the mystical, North Carolina’s Bloody Hammers return with their first album for Napalm Records, and third overall. Entitled Under Satan’s Sun, it is most definitely its own entity; this band is not interested in trends or even in being the typical retro act now saturating the metal scene. The brainchild of darkwave artist Anders Manga, Bloody Hammers began life in 2012, but comes after Manga and company accumulated years of experience in the music world.
The songs on Under Satan’s Sun are soaked in fuzz, yet clearly enunciated and extremely well-written. ‘Spearfinger’ and ‘Death Does Us Part’ alone ensure that before even the midpoint of the album is reached, there is little doubt that Bloody Hammers are onto something really special. The organ accompaniment on ‘Death Does Us Part’ would be easy to describe as retro, but that would demean the masterful execution of said instrument. There are some bands who reach for that bygone era and as you listen to them, you can actually feel them reaching for that atmosphere or that feeling. Bloody Hammers simply occupy the headspace these retro acts seem to be searching for, each song wrought from a place that cannot be fabricated from mere imitation.
‘The Moon-Eyed People’ drips with a fuzzy southern sonic drawl infusing a sound that is reminiscent of Alice In Chains or even a bit of Nirvana. The vocals are delivered independent of this though, remaining consistent throughout. ‘Second Coming’ and ‘Welcome to the Horror Show’ keep things sounding strong, with the band incorporating more horror-inspired samples to flavor the spooky atmosphere. The title track has a thick bass sound with a catchy chorus that cuts right to the heart of moonlit nights of whiskey and rock-n-roll debauchery. The pace picks up on ‘Dead Man’s Shadow on the Wall,’ a more straight-ahead affair laced with a Grand Magus meets Type-O Negative attitude that will stay between the ears for weeks. Along with ‘Spearfinger’ and ‘Death Does Us Part,’ this one is an album highlight.
Bloody Hammers have brought out a sound rarely done with the panache and flair they manage with ease. Fans of many different shades of metal and rock can find a home here. Equal parts Sabbath-y doom, southern fuzz, metal, and hard rock, with Under Satan’s Sun Bloody Hammers has quietly dropped a mighty sonic shovel full of grave soil onto the casket lid of metaldom. CrypticRock gives this album 4.5 out of 5 stars.