BLOODY HAMMERS – Spiritual Relics

User Rating: 9

I have to begin this review with a confession – I’d never listened to Bloody Hammers before now. That’s something, at this point, I have to say I’m pretty ashamed of.

Let me do this introduction properly: “Ladies and gentlemen, emerging from the depths of North Carolina, I give you, Bloody Hammers!”

Everything about this band means that I should have checked them out sooner, but I didn’t. But now I have – wow! Kicking off with one of the catchiest tracks I’ve heard this year, What’s Haunting You creeps in slowly, followed by a gritty riff, and each instrument makes its introduction before the vocals come in. In true southern style, the vocal hooks delivered throughout this track are sharp and strike deep. The gothic element of this entire album is rooted around the horror themed vocals delivered like a thick dark fog.

The Transit Begins is a bass driven banger of a track, led in an almost Type O Negative style delivery. The vocals are lower, clearer, and even more haunting than before. Brooding darkness surrounds this track. After all, atmosphere is key in a horror show. The southern guitar riffery comes back in full force for Colour Me Blood Red. Groove is the order of business. Groove is flying everywhere, like some kind of mutated flying monkey. I dare anyone not to head bang to this track.

With the beginning of Shiver comes my favourite track of the release. The drums pound like hammers (bloody hammers!) and darkness descends again. This is something that all continues down into Flesh Of The Lotus and onwards to Path Of Sorrows, each song filled with gritty southern riffs and a f*ckton of power. Each track delivers something slightly different, but they all pack a serious punch. The grand finale on this release is something very special indeed; the acoustic and intensely beautiful Science Fiction. Whilst none of the tracks on this release would sound out of place on a classic movie soundtrack, this one is the final death scene, the last hurrah for our hero before he bows out. Intricate vocal passages are lifted by the carefully delivered guitar lines.

Whilst I’m aware that other bands play music in a similar vein to Bloody Hammers, these guys have taken the expected, tipped it on it’s head and let nature take its course.

From this release I only have two things to say:

  1. Well done chaps, this album is brilliant!
  2. Come play the UK!

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