EP Review: Bloody Hammers – “The Horrific Case Of Bloody Hammers”
It’s always good to hear new material from Bloody Hammers with their grandiose yet catchy brand of goth-rock, and on latest EP, The Horrific Case Of…, the duo have taken their sound to the next logical vampyric stage. Straight off the, er, bat, Gates Of Hell with its semi-industrialised Transylvanian pulse is a great lead track that sees Anders Magna in fine form as ringmaster over wife Devallia’s sinister synth, giving hints of Marilyn Manson as much as it does the Teutonic rage of Rammstein.
Where there was once a more creepy whine to Magna’s vocal delivery there’s a much deeper richness on this EP. In fact, since last year’s Lovely Sort Of Death, the band have fleshed out their sound to accentuate the bass and keys and add even more atmosphere, meaning there’s an obvious Type O Negative influence to some of this release, despite second track Blood showing more in-your-face clout than many of the Brooklyn miserablists’ languid arias.
Having said that, The Beyond does slow things right down into more sparse electronic territory; if you can imagine Paradise Lost in their Host era becoming very well acquainted with The Cure, then you’ve got the right idea. It’s an interesting mid-EP interlude ahead of the groove-ridden Vultures Circle Overland and the slithering The Bloodsucker Leads The Dance, creating plenty of variety across the record’s 26 minutes of sleazy, accessible B-movie worship. If there’s a slight criticism, it’s that there’s a little bit of fun missing that was so evident in the band’s earlier releases. Admittedly though, it’s a hard balance to get right; mixing a theatrical image with power, intent, listenability as well as a drive to be taken seriously can’t be straightforward, but as Ghost have proven, you can pull it all together into a ridiculously successful package.
There's enough quality on this EP to tempt a few more fans into the fold, and it's good to see Bloody Hammers remaining as prolific as ever at releasing new material without copping out on stop-gap covers or live tracks. The duo are gradually becoming standout performers in a crowded genre, but there's still a bit of work to do before they can completely grasp the mainstream by its blackened balls.