Bloody Hammers – “The Summoning” (Napalm Records)
And now the screaming starts! If you’ve already been introduced to the ghostly duo of Anders Manga (Vocals, Guitar, Bass) and his partner Devallia (Keyboards/Organ) over the course of 4 albums, then “The Summoning” will no doubt tantalise with its song titles taken from classic horror movies. Fusing a rich blend of soulful American rock with suave goth rock, the duo once again produce a lush and highly infectious affair over the course of 10 tracks. Don’t be expecting any wild satanic rides or anything striving to be extreme, but in their own unhurried right, Manga and Devallia’s music has its own soulful appeal, along with a mystique lure of the occult. From the title track ‘The Summoning’ with its heavy, fuzzed guitar offset by Manga’s soulful vocals backed by Devallia’s synths, there’s a distinct new wave / romantic edge to the sound, and it works a treat in building to the hugely deep and highly catchy chorus – and all with a kick thanks to pounding drums! Opening acoustically, the melancholy inherent in Manga’s quiet voice on ‘Condemned, The Prisoner’ is truly moving as his soaring soul of ‘…I hear the bell tower striking the toll..’ melds brilliantly with Devallia’s equally emotional organ to really make you feel the sorrow of that long dark road to meet your maker. Kicking up on ‘From Beyond The Grave’ to a cool dance beat with the deeper bass and baritone vocal really bringing in the goth rock element, the melancholy is thankfully not lost and indeed, as the song builds along with the heaviness the passion is beautifully resonated by Devallia’s moving keys before finally exploding through smashing drums and synth overload to the blissful end. Despite their brutal name, Bloody Hammers bring not only style but a highly catchy emotional embrace that reaches well into the next world on this excellent release!