Spiritual Relics

Bloody Hammers

Straight out of Transylvania County (nice touch) is the debut album from BLOODY HAMMERS, an […]
By Joe Reed
August 26, 2013
Bloody Hammers - Spiritual Relics album cover

Straight out of Transylvania County (nice touch) is the debut album from BLOODY HAMMERS, an outfit whose brand of doom is as interesting as it is eclectic and as unique as it is refreshing. "Spiritual Relics" is a dynamic record that right out of the gate informs listeners that BLOODY HAMMERS are in this game to make their presence known and have no intention of being just another name in the over saturated market of Doom and Sludge Metal.

Organist Devallia's playing compliments many of the pieces very well and gives early tracks like "At the Well of Nazareth" and "The Source" their paradoxically dark and vibrant personalities. These songs have character. They have a certain touch that other bands don't simply because BLOODY HAMMERS do what so many bands forget to and use to their advantage the elements that make them unique. "At the Well of Nazareth's" guitar tone, whether intentional or not, has a fuzz and distortion reminiscent of early 90s alternative rock and desert legends KYUSS, a tone that I think works perfectly well given the bands use of the organ. While not the heaviest of tones, it doesn't overshadow the other instruments and compliments Anders Magna' baritone vocal style quite well. If you're looking for that North Carolina Sludge, "Color Me Blood Red" and "What's Haunting You" demonstrate that BLOODY HAMMERS are still calling upon the demons of Dixie to churn out the groove when necessary while not compromising their own unique spin on the sound. What also stands out in these tracks is a very prominent Gothic Metal influence, particularly on "Night of the Long Knives" and "Shiver", each displaying a powerful TYPE O NEGATIVE influence. When combined with the Stoner / Sludge, this influence makes for a combination that works much to my surprise considering I'm not quite the fan of that style.

Despite the album's tendency to drag at times in the middle, the impressive guitar lead on "Flesh of the Lotus" sparked a powerful ending to the record culminating in the last two tracks that end this record with the right bang. The last track, "Science Fiction", melds perfectly the aforementioned influences but adds the touch of southern country in the acoustic guitars to make it the most unexpected but most stand out track on the record. BLOODY HAMMERS succeed in achieving a multi-faceted sound while retaining the basic elements of a standard Rock band, something only talented bands can make possible. The fact that this band was able to create this sound without an overproduced album or several additional instruments is impressive to say the least. Expect big things from this band if they are able to build upon this framework. 

8 / 10


"Spiritual Relics" Track-listing:

1. What's Haunting You
2. At the Well of Nazareth
3. The Transit Begins
4. The Source
5. Color Me Blood Red
6. Night of the Long Knives
7. Shiver
8. Flesh of the Lotus
9. Path of Sorrows
10. Science Fiction

Bloody Hammers Lineup:

Mendoza - Drums
Zoltan - Guitars
Devallia - Organ
Anders Magna - Vocals / Bass

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