Monday, 26 September 2011

Hamerex - Rites Of Passage (Cd Review)

01.Aftershocks Of Death

02.The Headless Horseman



05.The Lycan

06.Rites Of Passage

07.Army Of Darkness

08.To The End

09.The Gates Of Hades

10.Waste Away

Steve Blower (Guitar/Backing Vocals)

Chris Moules (Vocals)

Andy Firth (Bass)

Darren Kelsall (Drums)

Joe Wilson (Guitar/Backing Vocals)

Hamerex are a Yorkshire based Heavy Metal band formed in August 2004.An energetic and entertaining live band put together by Steve drawing on the early 80's scene but taking in a wider variety of influences.
Soon to follow was Chris Moules who applied for the role of vocalist with the band and
proving the best choice in the selection. After numerous changes from the original line-
up, Andy Firth joined the band on bass and added a darker edge to the music.

Soon after came veteran drummer Darren Kelsall and brought with him the pace and timing needed for a solid metal band.

In April 2009 the bands first E.P. 'Into War'was released. As this was nearing completion
Joe Wilson stepped into the recording studio on guitar completing the current line up.Soon after they signed to Swerve Records and the following May put out their second E.P.
'The Lycan', which gained them many positive reviews.

Last August they began work on their first album “Rites Of Passage” at Planet Platforms
where the drums and Steve’s guitars were recorded and from February 2011 the rest was
completed at Dee Dee Music including mixing and mastering which was done by guitarist Joe
Wilson and bassist Andy Firth.

The album is released on Monday 26th September 2011 on iTunes and on CD through the
band’s store. The album features 10 tracks that have been written at various times
through the bands 7 year history. The album artwork was sculptured and illustrated by
James Mullett who also did the previous two E.P. covers for the band.

'Aftershocks Of Death' has a great intro very reminiscent of Diamond Head's 'Am I Evil', some solid drumming kicks this opening track along at a nice pace and some pretty awesome riffing going on there too.

Wonderous old school thrash rhythms punctuate 'The Headless Horseman', i have also got used to the Roddy Stone style vocals in fact this could be a Viking Skull song!!!!

'Stalker' kicks off with some nice bass work before launching into a doom paced rocker with the riffs coming at you at such a rate you cant sit still for a second.

'Hypnotise' pounds like a battering ram (Judas Priest pun intended), classic british heavy metal nuff said!

Now 'The Lycan' is a fucking great song, but the vocal is a little strained at times, sounds like the singer is trying to sing too high and it does kill it a bit.

An epic 8 minutes of superb music starting with some great acoustic guitar then heading off into pounding riffage and gutteral vocals.At times 'Rites Of Passage' threatens to move well and truly into doom territory but it keeps a thrash edge, making for a good well balanced mix.

'Army Of Darkness' is a dark brooding song, but again i think the vocal is slightly off, though i think thats because they have put on some kind of vocal fx.

I have to say as soon as i hit play on 'To The End' i got Hatebreeds 'I Will Be Heard' in my head, this is quite a hardcore/metalcore song, good but seems slightly out of place with the rest of the tracks.

'The Gates Of Hades' has some more great riffing in it, and all in all gets the album back on track.

Finally we have 'Waste Away' yet another great song, mid paced well mixed (The drum pedal work comes through a treat!) awesome guitarwork, but again i feel some work needed on the vocals.

All in all this is one helluva album and proof that the best metal still comes from this side of the Atlantic, my only drawback is some of the vocals.

Rating : 9/10

For fans Of : Viking Skull, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Evile


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