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Bloody Hammers
Lovely Sort of Death
August 2016
Released: 2016, Napalm Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz

Well now, this is genuinely interesting…



From their self-titled 2012 debut through 2014’s UNDER SATAN’S SUN, Bloody Hammers have largely been a reliable but predictable occult rock/doom outfit. Sticking to the typical stoner, Sabbathian trappings a la Orchid, Witchcraft, Blood Ceremony, et al, those albums were all good fun, but still kinda generic in the grand scheme of things. Which probably fed the decision for the Charlotte based quartet to shake things up on their latest full length, LOVELY SORT OF DEATH. Trading Tony Iommi for Peter Steele, LOVELY SORT OF DEATH takes the band into uncharted goth territory with some surprisingly strong results.



Opting to fill the void left in the absence of bands like Type O Negative and Sentenced, LOVELY SORT OF DEATH pulls as much dark inspiration from their Sisters of Mercy collection it does from the first for Sab records. Out of the gate, tracks like “Bloodletting on the Kiss” and “Lights Come Alive” are dominated by synth passages and an almost passive aggressive delivery. It’s a more slow build, cerebral type of heavy – not at all in your face, but definitely under your skin. The first half of the album is frontloaded with tunes like this, and depending on your tolerance level for this kind of experimentation, that might be a deal breaker for you. But if you persevere forward, tracks like “Stoke the Fire” and “Astral Traveler” all turn up to 11, invoking the spirit of early 2000’s Paradise Lost, Moonspell, and Candlemass. “Ether” is the closest thing to a traditional doom track on the album, pulling some “Children of the Grave” chug alongside the electronics and upping the ante on heavy.



Sonic left turns like LOVELY SORT OF DEATH tend to be pretty divisive among fans, but you’ve got to applaud an established band for taking a creative risk. I would’ve preferred a more balanced arrangement of tunes across the album, but that just means I’ll have to play the album on shuffle next time to mix things up.
Track Listing

1. Bloodletting on the Kiss
2. Lights Come Alive
3. The Reaper Comes
4. Messalina
5. Infinite Gaze to the Sun
6. Stoke the Fire
7. Ether
8. Shadow Out of Time
9. Astral Traveler
10. Catastrophe

Lineup

Bill Fischer – Guitars
Devallia – Organ, Piano
Anders Manga – Vocals, Bass
Doza Mendoza - Drums

Other reviews

» Lovely Sort of Death
by Aaron Yurkiewicz

» Lovely Sort of Death
by Metal-Rules.com UK Team


Next review: » Bloody Hammers - Lovely Sort of Death
Previous review: » Bloody Donation - Vengeance Of The Enslaved

Bloody Hammers
Lovely Sort of Death
December 2016
Released: 2016, Napalm Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team

When I was young I would watch Hammer horror movies and old 1930s horror movies featuring Lon Chaney Jr and Bela Lugosi late at night on my old black and white TV. This was before CGI style special effects. I was fascinated by these movies at the time and look back fondly on those time. That was a long time ago now and time has moved on, I soaked up many more influences, but for many people this is still a big influence on their lives. With music there is the 1970s rock world that is not all about prog dominating the world, then being destroyed by punk. There is another world of classic rock and doom. Bands such as Black Sabbath of course, who still influence many bands to this day. Blood Ceremony possible sum up the mix of Hammer horror, doom and psychedelia the most perfectly.



This brings me on to Bloody Hammers, a male/female duo who carry this particular metaphoric torch. I previously mentioned that time moves on with more influences, erm, influencing people. Bloody Hammers have taken the sounds of the much maligned late 1990s gothic Paradise Lost albums, mixed it with the old school Cathedral sounds to produce Lovely Sort of Death.



The album starts off slow, it is doomy after all, and I must admit I wasn't that enamoured with the first track. By the second track and third tracks the album starts to find it's feet and rewards the listener for taking the time and effort to absorb the music. I am a big fan of certain Tony Martin Black Sabbath albums from the 1990s, and a few songs remind me of Virtual Death from the Cross Purposes albums. It is probably the doomy keyboards.



Some albums are fronted loaded with the best songs and drag towards the end, this album, oddly is the reverse. It may just be my headset, although I have listened to this numerous times to the same effect. Later in the album the pace picks up, there are even some double bass drumming to heavy things up.



If you want some fast Gamma Ray action this is not for you, but if you want to spend some time on an album then Lovely Sort of Death will reward you each time you listen. Some of the modern doom bands are let down by rough growly vocals, with guitars too high in the mix. Bloody Hammers manage to keep it listenable and melodic.



Good stuff. I want the vinyl version which looks immense.
Track Listing

1. Bloodletting On The Kiss
2. Lights Come Alive
3. The Reaper Comes
4. Messalina
5. Infinite Gaze To The Sun
6. Stoke The Fire
7. Ether
8. Shadow Out Of Time
9. Astral Traveller
10. Catastrophe

Lineup

Anders Manga - Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Devailia - Keyboards

Other reviews

» Lovely Sort of Death
by Aaron Yurkiewicz

» Lovely Sort of Death
by Metal-Rules.com UK Team


Next review: » Bloody Sign - Chaos Echoes
Previous review: » Bloody Donation - Vengeance Of The Enslaved





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