Steve Blower – Back in Hell

Having impressed with their new tracks within the EP, The Abyss Vol. 1, last year, it the first of a planned trilogy of releases building towards their new album, UK metallers Hamerex was put on hold by its members. From that decision vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Steve Blower quickly took the opportunity to begin working on his own solo project. The following November saw the Facilis Descensus Averno EP released, its presence evolving to first album Back in Hell, a release sure to arouse the instincts of any heavy metal fan.

As mentioned, Back in Hell has grown from the seeds of that first EP, better recording equipment and fan funding allowing its songs to grow and be improved and join a host of new tracks within Blower’s debut full-length. With eleven slabs of heavy metal bred, classic metal spiced proposals, the album was initially planned for release late last year but with severe wrist injuries preventing Wakefield hailing Blower, who is truly a one man project playing all instruments and creating its art, working on the drums Back in Hell was put back by five months or so. Co-mixed by Blower with Andy Firth, who also did the mastering, it is now poised to uncage its roar.

The album’s title track is the first to grip ears and attention, the opener immediately a surge of riffs and hungry rhythms as infectious as they are rapacious. Familiar classic hues are openly embraced within its lively canter, Blower’s vocals equally unapologetic in their old school metal/nwobhm influence yet quickly the song establishes its own character and that in the overall sound of the album.

The great start is only matched by The Whisperer and its equally tenacious exploits. As with the first song, there was no escaping the persuasive presence and incitement of riffs, the guitar a boisterous yet fierce conjuror alongside another lively vocal cajoling from Blower with subsequent hooks and melodic flames only adding to the track’s easy success on ears and appetite.

 What’s Left of Me has an eighties metal breath to its opening holler which is soon immersed in the more voracious traits of the song but is never quite devoured to add further flavour to the traditional breeding of the encounter. Though not quite hitting the heights of its predecessors for personal tastes it is a magnetic affair from start to finish before being fully eclipsed by The Prophet. The following track immediately had the imagination engaged as its shadow thick crawl into view comes rich in intimation. The slowly revolving groove at its heart is pure melodic liquor, continuing to intoxicate as the track weaves its temptation and Blower unveils his guitar craft and enterprise to its fullest depths. The song is superb and quickly takes favourite track honours never relinquishing that spot to its following companions.

Certainly it is tested at times though and swiftly as Arabian Nights shares its swarthy, darkly lit instrumental adventure. It has a heroic breath to its drama and emprise shaped by guitar intrigue, its cosmopolitan theatre of suggestion manna to this imagination while the similarly instrumental Out of this World and after that, The Midas Touch only kept ears, thoughts, and pleasure as enjoyable busy. The first of the two has a Celtic whisper to its melodic narrative, a whiff of Horslips at play early on though soon just a thread it is evocative and multi-flavoured landscape whilst its successor starts with a voraciously heavy trespass from rhythms and riffs but again a welcomingly contagious one even as melodic and sonic intimation paints a deeper palette of sound for the imagination to relish.

Together the four tracks provide the pinnacle of the album for us but in a landscape never sliding too far away in strength as the likes of Twisted Evolution, with its compelling lowly slung heavy grumble and conspiracy of sonic suspicion, and the eventful The Slain / Ties that Bind easily prove. The second of the pair coaxes keen attention as an evocative melodic tempting in voice and guitar takes little time to escalate in intensity, urgency and diversity; riffs and rhythms colluding with a brooding bass and the hearty lungs of Blower. There is volatility to it which if never quite erupting gives the song a great edge in tone and theatre and helps a track which maybe again struggled to match its predecessor do nothing less than enthral and please.

The final pair of the seriously compelling Haunting Misery with almost predatory riffing shaping its warrior like presence and the fiery classic metal powerhouse that is the Maiden-esque The World is Ablaze bring the album to a rousing close. Both tracks sparked eager participation in spirit and body and alone left a lingering lure to dive swiftly back into Back in Hell.

How long we will have to wait for the next instalment of Hamerex adventure time will tell but Steve Blower will ensure the wait is not going to be a fruitless time and that the band is going to have to go some to match the qualities and pleasure of his first album.

Back in Hell is scheduled for release on 25th October 2019 with a Special Edition which includes the Facilis Descensus Averno disc also available; pre-ordering available now @ https://steveblower.bandcamp.com/album/back-in-hell

https://stevebloweruk.wordpress.com/   https://www.facebook.com/stevebloweruk   https://twitter.com/stevebloweruk

Pete RingMaster 03/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hamerex – The Abyss Vol. 1

The Abyss Vol. 1 is the first part of a trilogy from UK heavy metallers Hamerex, a collection set to be fully released by the end of the year. The four track encounter just uncaged is a powerful and inventive assault of a sound which has been stirring up the senses and praise since the band first emerged back in 2004. Consisting of two new tracks and two previously released songs which have been re-recorded and infused with the stirring evolution surging through the band’s sound, The Abyss Vol. 1 is basically a compelling slab of voracious rock ‘n’ roll.

Hailing from Wakefield, Hamerex was formed by vocalist/guitarist Steve Blower. Starting with debut album Rites Of Passage in 2012, the band’s releases have drawn potent praise, its successor IX the following year and third album Traitor in 2016 sparking acclaim as too before the latter, The Last Ride EP. Each has revealed an open growth and maturity in the band’s sound which has a new head with The Abyss. The new EP is also the first release to feature bassist Marc Hood and drummer Sharif Diz Dyson alongside Blower and guitarist Andy Firth.

It immediately roars upon the senses with opener The Extremist, riffs devouring ears as rhythms voraciously pounce and drive the track through ears. Blower’s vocals have no restraint either but come with a more composed attack as the sounds ravage and incite. Heavy and more extreme metals textures collude in the tempest, every hook and groove as threatening as they are flirtatious with every bass growl and flying beat accentuating each magnetic trait. The track which originally appeared on XI, just hits the spot as familiar and unique sounds and textures come together with rapacious intent.

The following Broken is just as bold and tenacious on the ears though it prowls the listener before unleashing its web of melodically inviting and sonically fiery enterprise; never going for the jugular but blending seduction and threat all the same. One of the new tracks it just ignites big anticipation for what is to follow across the other EPs ahead as too its fellow newcomer, Crucifixion. Featuring Hood on lead vocals, the track storms ears with a thrash nurtured surge, Blower and Firth infesting the senses as grooves incessantly nag. Darker ruinous hues invade backing vocals and in turn the climate of the incitement, the track continuing to revolve between heavy and extreme metal predation until its final toxic expulsion.  Both tracks suggest a new and striking evolution in the band’s sound which as suggested earlier makes the other two episodes in this trilogy very easy to get excited for.

In between those two songs is The Dark Tower which first infested ears upon Traitor. The tendril of guitar drawing attention to its body is pure enticement as too the subsequent heavy metal rumble of the encounter and its tart melodic veining.

All four tracks suggest that Hamerex is at the beginning of a new chapter in their sound but it is the new pair which really excites ensuring the next volumes of The Abyss will be eagerly welcomed.

The Abyss Vol. 1 is out now and available across most online stores and @ https://hamerex.bandcamp.com/album/the-abyss-vol-1

https://hamerex.com/   https://www.facebook.com/hamerex   https://twitter.com/hamerex

Pete RingMaster 12/06/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright