Bloody Hammers – Songs of Unspeakable Terror
Release date: 15/01/2021
Running time: 32 mins approx
Review by: Alun Jones
Outside, the nights are starting to get lighter and Spring is on its merry way. The birds chirp merrily and warmth is returning to the land. Which is completely inappropriate for a review of the new album by Bloody Hammers, “Songs of Unspeakable Terror”. It should be Halloween instead: gloomy and dark with the bizarre and uncanny just outside your door.
Anders Manga (vocals, guitars, bass) and Devallia (keyboards/organ) are the Morticia and Gomez husband and wife team behind Bloody Hammers, a metal/rock/goth creation based in Transylvania County, North Carolina. How’s that for an address? Bet Glenn Danzig’s crying into his Count Chocula cereal.
On this opus, Lily and Herman have left behind their previous established sound of Alice Cooper-style hard rock, crunchy metal and Sisters of Mercy atmos. Entombed alive due to the pandemic, Bloody Hammers have exhumed the bloody corpse of horror punk, in a temporary tribute to the genre.
And it’s huge fun! Fast and furious tracks like “Night to Dismember” and “Waking the Dead” rocket from the crypt like the hounds of hell are on their tail. Huge “whoah-oh” Misfits choruses are of course present and correct. Rousing and energetic, these songs are obvious but loving celebrations of influences that have only been hinted at on previous albums.
There’s macabre melody on “We Are the Damned”, with a choir vocal effect to help power the camp horror feel. “Hands of the Ripper” and “Not of This Earth” are slower, more metal sounding with a grinding riff.
Little of the occasional Andrew Eldritch explorations exist on “Songs of Unspeakable Terror”, though “Lucifers Light” unites guitar and keys into a moody Danzig like ballad. A little more of this approach would still have fitted perfectly however. I don’t know if Devallia can sing, but if she can this was a missed opportunity.
The listener never feels too far removed from the original Bloody Hammers style, however. Likewise this isn’t a simple, derivative rip-off of “Walk Among Us”, even though “The Brain That Wouldn’t Die” is a nice radioactive “Hatebreeders” mutation. But whereas the Misfits took their inspiration from monochrome B-movies, Bloody Hammers have changed gears to a Kensington gore-drenched 60’s Technicolor horror fest.
“Songs of Unspeakable Terror” is an album of pure enjoyment, which is just what we need right now. With song titles taken directly from classic Hammer/Amicus movies, a warm rediscovery of horror punk style and some familiar Bloody Hammers rock, you can’t go wrong. Go dig out your Halloween fancy dress, find your “Plan 9 From Outer Space” VHS cassette and get ready for a ghouls night in!
This review was brought to you by Platinum Al and Ever Metal.