Bombs Of Hades – “Phantom Bell” EP (Black Lodge)
Battle Helm Rating
When death comes knocking….formed close to 20 years ago, Bombs Of Hades have evolved over the course of 4 full length albums, numerous splits and EPs to being a tasty mish mash of death metal, heavy metal and punk. Indeed, the 4 tracks on this EP showcase a wide range of influences from Motörhead to Venom and Celtic Frost, all of whom themselves drew from a variety of styles. Initially starting out as a drunken bash out, its pretty clear from the experience attained from the previous bands of vocalist / guitarist Jonas Stålhammar (At The Gates, Crippled Black Phoenix, ex-The Crown, Darkcreed, God Macabre, The Lurking Fear, ex-Utumno, ex-Macabre End, ex-Dead Awaken (live), ex-Abhoth, ex-Morbid Salvation Army, ex-Purulence, ex-Space Probe Taurus, ex-The Colombos), guitarist P-O ‘Wolfie’ Söderback (ex-Puffball, ex-The Kalashnikovs, ex-The Let’s Go’s), drummer Magnus Forsberg (ex-Kentik Brosk, ex-Tribulation, ex-Pentagram, ex-Dissober, ex-Puffball, ex-The Let’s Go’s) and bassist Roger Iderman (F.O.A.D) that this Swedish quartet know exactly what they’re doing in blending monster hooks with massive grooves in the metallic rock n roll of their music! Manically crashing in with the title track ‘Phantom Bell’, grim booming riffs and smashing drums propel the catchy carnage along to Stålhammar’s vocals which sound like Lemmy singing death metal as ‘Wolfie”s howling and wailing guitar really ignites the start of this heavy as fuck EP. Slowing things down a tad on ‘Bridge Of Sighs’, nothing can prepare you for the utterly awesome dark groove that Tom Warrior would be proud of, while the more laid back ambiance laced with bluesy guitar provides a momentary contrast to the pure black grimness. Chopping in on the exotic ‘Kamikaze’ where Stålhammar’s drawls meets ‘Wolfie”s catchy heavy metal licks before a trippy passage referencing ‘…sodom and gomorrah…’ and ‘…kubla khan…’ builds to a psych noise crescendo with still plenty of energy complementing the exciting range of twists and turns on this unpredictable song. Ending with what I thought was a cover of ‘Orgasmatron’, ‘Lungs’ sees Iderman’s dirty strummed bass and Stålhammar’s slow gruff vocals meld with ‘Wolfie”s far out guitar spewing psych licks and trippy breaks with more than a nod to Hawkwind in yet another flashy turn to this EP. An excellent if all too short release to bring out your dead for a good headbang!