From the moment, you glance at the album cover, you can tell exactly what the Bloody Hammers are about...
From the naked women, vampire imagery and old school Sabbth-esque font, you can tell this is a Hammer Horror from the get go. Hell - it even bills itself as an Original Motion Picture Soundtrack!
The album aptly opens with Gates Of Hell, which sounds a bit like if you turned up the scuzz on a 69 eyes track and added a bit of Rob Zombie’s marching beats in for good measure. With themes of witching hours and journeys into the darkness, and a sythy organ sounding solo - it’s does exactly what it says on the tin.
Next up, Blood. The track mainly consists of a pretty bare vocal track for most of the verses, which could do with a bit more oomph rather than just having the drums behind it. You can hear what they’re going for in the verse, alluding to bands like Fields of Nephilim or The Mission, but with a Tool-esque chorus it ends up feeling just a bit disjointed.
The Beyond brings in elements of John Carpenter soundtracks (think Escape From New York) with a darkwave intro and a spooky and sexy vocal line throughout. A romantic ballad, dressed in black. If you like your Goth music like I do, this will definitely be your favourite track of the album. It certainly manages to create the eerie yet sensual sense of taking a stranger’s hand and following them down the path of temptation.
Vultures Circle Overland then takes the listener in the complete opposite aural direction. Again, utilising the bare-vocal-track-and-drums-behind-it verse with the explosive chorus formula, this isn’t when the band sound at their best and ends up giving the track an early 00s Nu-Metal feel - church organ solo or not. Which, after dreamy The Beyond, leaves the listener feeling a little lost.
All The Colours Of The Dark initially shows no signs of retreating back to that Goth safe haven, with a heavy guitar riff intro. However, as soon as the synth kicks in all hope is not lost! Sensual gothness returns. All The Colours provides a nice blend between the two extremes the band can offer in The Beyond and Vultures… and this is exactly how it should be done. It feels like the band have found their grove with this track, with things feeling less jarring and juxtaposed. Very Gary Numan- esque (See: I Am Dust from Splinter for reference) in style, with moody and depressive tones this track wraps and coils around the listener like an anaconda and slowly squeezes.
Ending on The Bloodsucker Leads The Dance – it borrows organ imagery from Ghost and a deep grumbling bassline which peeks it’s head above the parapets for the first time on this track. A bit confusing at times with bassline, piano and church organ all vying for the listeners attention and seemingly equally mixed, a little bit more layering of these individual elements would have gone a long way to bring the track together. An atmospheric closer, this final dance of the dead is like a funeral procession bidding the listener farewell.
Review by Lynn Carberry