When your reviewing an album by a band called the "Bloody Hammers" you kind of have an idea of what your getting yourself into. Images of thrashing guitars and guttural screams filled my mind as I looked at the sinister album cover art for their new "Spiritual Relics" album. The album art reminded me of the time many, many years ago when I purchased Venom's "At War With Satan" album based solely on the cover art and my ears were left sodomized by Venom's wall of brutal noise that barely resembled music.
So with some slight trepidation, I eased on my headphones fully expecting a blast of double bass drums and cookie monster vocals which is not my chosen flavor of metal. Instead I was met with a crunchy guitar riff filled with overdrive and melody as the first track "What's Haunting You" kicked in. This was a great track, heavy, dark, these guys definitely drink from the waters of Black Sabbath and you can do a lot worse than having Tony and Ozzy as metal mentors.
Much like when I first discovered the first Black Sabbath record, I found myself being drawn into this album just like a good horror movie will do. "At The Well Of Nazareth", "The Transit Begins" and my personal favorite "The Source" lure me farther into this pleasure of horrors. Vocalist/Bassist Anders Manga has a great voice, dark and haunting but with plenty of melody. Certainly not what I was expecting.
The riffs continue all dark and foreboding and although there are a couple of filler tracks, "Flesh Of The Lotus" yanked me back in with it's classic Judas Priest like feel. The album ends with an acoustic track, "Science Fiction" a slow and haunting masterpiece that could be huge if given the proper push, every bit as good as Queensryche's "Silent Lucidity". Overall Spiritual Relics is a solid release from this "Doom Metal" band. If you like things that go bump in the night, then break out the popcorn and pull the blankets up tight because this will be sure to please. I give it 8 \m/ out of 10 \m/! Check them out.