Bloody Hammers – Songs Of Unspeakable Terror

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Reviewed: February, 2021
Released: 2021, Napalm Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Erich

The husband-and-wife team of Devalia and Anders Manga are back and releasing their sixth album in SONGS OF UNSPEAKABLE TERROR. Hailing from Transylvania (County that is in North Carolina), Bloody Hammers continues to mine gothic horror themes delivered with crushing doom riffs. The album has an uncanny catchiness that can be surprising given the visual spectacle of the band’s album art and gore and splatter song titles. It is unfortunate that Bloody Hammers do not have wider acclaim, and though there are strong individual songs on this album, it is one of their weaker albums overall.

One thing that is immediately noticeable on this album is that Devalia’s keyboards are subtle and mostly in the background, where on past songs like “Light Comes Alive” and “The Summoning” the keyboards were integral parts of the song. Now, it is Manga’s driving power chords and simple but appropriate drumming that powers the tunes along with his gift for the theatrical and excellent vocal melodies. Bloody Hammers has always infused their albums with some punk elements, but SONGS OF UNSPEAKABLE TERROR has drawn deeply from the horror punk well and combined it with their traditional gothic doom/hard rock approach. Nowhere is this more evident than on the feel-good bouncer, “We Are The Dead”, an unmistakable tribute to The Misfits and one of the albums highlights. Another signature track would be the gruesomely titled opener, “A Night To Dismember” with its infectious chorus that again reflects the punk inspirations on this album.

“Hands of The Ripper”, “Waking The Dead” and recent video, “Not Of This Earth” are the album’s other strong tunes, proving that simple and direct songs can be effective and enjoyable when the songcraft is this inspired. However, there are places where the mighty duo has stumbled, forcing me to knock my rating down a notch. One would be the underwhelming acoustic ditty, “Lucifer’s Light”, where the return of Devalia’s keyboards to a prominent role cannot save the song. Another minor quibble is the thirty-two-minute run time, the shortest album of the band’s career by a significant amount. The final complaint is the departure from previous albums that SOUT has taken. Credit the band for experimenting and trying something different, but the punk has taken center stage while the band’s goth-tinged hard rock/metal hybrid that is the essence of the band has taken a back seat.

SONGS OF UNSPEAKABLE TERROR has four or five very strong songs that can compete with the best of the bands back catalog, but also some weaker ones that dare I say are dangerously close to filler? Still, this is a good album, and I am sure having to cancel their tour and compose songs in Anders basement during a pandemic might have had some impact on the stylistic shift present on this album. Still love the band, and I am glad they put out a new album and maybe scratched an itch that will allow them to return to their past glorious approach. Long-time Bloody Hammers fans will certainly welcome and appreciate this album. Recommended also for fans of Lucifer, Year Of The Goat, and for this album at least The Misfits and The Cramps. I would recommend those unfamiliar with the band to start with THE SUMMONING, which I believe is their finest album and the above-mentioned songs from this album are worth exploring as well.


Videos


Track Listing:

Devallia and Anders Manga1. A Night To Dismember
2. Hands Of The Ripper
3. Witchfinder General
4. Not Of This Earth
5. The Ones Who Own The Dark
6. Waking The Dead
7. Night Of The Witch
8. We Are The Damned
9. The Brain That Wouldn’t Die
10. Lucifer’s Light
11. I Spit On Your Corpse

Lineup:

Devallia – Keyboards, Bass
Anders Manga –  Guitars, Vocals, Drums, Mellotron

Websites:

www.bloodyhammers.com/

www.facebook.com/BloodyHammers/

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