Bloody Hammers is a duo from North Carolina in the USA formed in 2012. The Summoning is their fifth studio release already. Anders Manga is the singer and guitarist of the band, Devalia plays organ, keys and piano (Please keep that in mind).
I was just checking the releases of the last days on Amazon Music and saw that cover. It looks like a picture from one of these really bad Italian horror movies from the 70s, doesn’t it? I really liked it. On the band’s website, you can find a short interview where the influences of the band are mentioned – not just for their music and lyrics, but also for their look, and their understanding of music itself, and I’m totally with them: You need humor when you fight Eddie as the singer of Iron Maiden, or when you’re down on your knees in a guillotine waiting for being decapitated as Alice Cooper does it on stage still today. With this kind of humor, I think, you need to listen to The Summoning as well. It doesn’t mean that you as the listener shouldn’t take the music serious, or that the musicians don’t take their music serious.
Alright, with this in mind let’s start to have a look at the album. The Summoning gives us 10 songs and 43 minutes of music. Most of the songs are a little longer than four minutes, but only the first track “Let Sleeping Corpses Lie” is longer than five minutes. All the songs sound quite uniform, so no big experiments or surprises.
We have the humor now, and you remember what I wrote in the beginning about the musicians in the band – there is no drummer! So in all the songs we have the same quite shitty sounding drums out of the box, as well as “oohs” and “aaahs” from the keyboard. This explains the uniform songs as well. You really need a big potion of humor to stand this the whole 43 minutes of the album. Most of the songs also have quite a danceable feel to them, so maybe they also fit to the next tracklist of your local goth-party right between The Sisters of Mercy, The Cure and The Crüxshadows. The titletrack or “Welcome to Darkness” also gives us some retro-synths somewhere between early Depeche Mode, New Order and Kraftwerk. While having a look at the tracks’ names on the album, you may also smile just as I did, because they fulfil every cliché you could have after looking at the cover for the first time.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s no Gothic, it’s still Rock music, but with the flavour of a trashy dark side – from horror movies, cheap novelles and stuff like that. That’s the reason why I think the music should sound cheap and a little shitty as well. It just fits right to the art-concept of the band, it fits to the album’s artwork, and the image they create. So I think everything has been done correctly. I think I understand the band, and I like the way they like to go. Nontheless, the album doesn’t catch me in the end. It’s nothing I could recommened eventually. It’s nice to listen to, but there is no special need to do so, like you don’t need to see every direct-to-DVD/BluRay Horror movie.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
(Strong) 5 / 10