Album Review: BLOODY HAMMERS Under Satan’s Sun
Nothing gets the attention of a metal fan quicker than the word Satan. Slap a pentagram in a band's logo and declare them part of his minion…boom, PR wet dream. Bloody Hammers has the marketing strategy down; it’s to the point that other artists may have to pay them royalties on the general use of ‘creepiness’.
Crawling out of a graveyard in typically un-satanic North Carolina, Bloody Hammers are full-on horror rock with the eerie glam of Marilyn Manson and the b-movie shtick of an Alice Cooper show. Not a formula made for all, but one that is hard to resist when done right. Pepper in a healthy dose of our main man Beelzebub and the cauldron starts to cook a delightfully intoxicating brew.
Fronted by the enigmatic Anders Manga, with his big-top carnival barker persona, Under Satan’s Sun is like the soundtrack of your favorite late night 70's cult horror flick. Perfect background orchestra for motorcycles, coffins and satanic ritual of the tongue and cheek variety, "The Town That Dreaded Sundow"’ starts with a creepy chant a la an old Disney Halloween record. The guitars plunge into a sludgy waltz of fuzzed out bliss as Magna’s smooth yet sketchy voice warns of a killer stalking a town.
"Second Coming" is a raucous rock and roll ode to the dark lords return; full of heavy roll call drumming and a Ghost BC like composure: lets call it ‘evil-pop’. Surely teenage goths will turn down this song as their parents walk past their bedroom door but they will already be hooked by the strange coolness of Manga's devotion to his dark lord.
Sadly, "Welcome to the Horror Show" slows things down to a near halt as the tone becomes almost Marilyn Manson worship. "Horror Show" would have been perfect filler for any of Manson’s work and Manga even sounds as if he has been enchanted by his voice as he sings “Once you’re in you can’t be let go”. Thing heat up again on the title track: a burner of pure shock-rock joy. You can see the night begin to burn away as Magna howls “Let’s make this memory sublime”.
"The Necromancer" finishes the black mass with a strong dose of rock and roll; tumbling hills of strong riffing and another dark yarn being barked at you with an almost too real belief behind it. Bloody Hammers has done a fine job establishing themselves as a genuine voice in the shock-rock realm; their album art scarier than any Rob Zombie film and songs as deeply in need of therapy as those who listen to them.