The Horrific Case of Bloody Hammers
Release date: July 14, 2017
Anders Manga is a fixture on the darkwave scene. Emerging in 1993 with The Traumatics, he is also the driving force behind The Dogwoods, and an accomplished and prolific solo artist. From his home in Transylvania County, North Carolina comes a heavier, darker vision than his previous incarnations, known as Bloody Hammers. Working with his wife Devalia, who provides organ and keyboards, Manga has crafted guitar driven rock that draws together darkwave, doom metal, and psychedelia, creating songs that range from exultant to terrifying.
For their current release, Bloody Hammers brings together some classic sounds. Fans of the various subgenres of goth rock will hear a bit of Type O Negative, some Christian Death, and a little Sisters of Mercy, among others. “The Bloodsucker Leads the Dance” and “The Beyond” sound much like the more subdued moments of post-Rozz Williams Christian Death, with the latter track creating an eerie atmosphere reminiscent of “Angels and Drugs” from the American Inquisition release. Bass and drums create a dark foundation for sparse cold, digital, fuzzy guitar and ethereal keyboards. On the other hand, “Gates of Hell” comes in somewhere between Rob Zombie’s early solo work and My Life With The Thrill Kill Cult.
What really works for these songs is the truly intimidating emotions evoked by the arrangements. “Blood” opens with a somber, unsettling verse, only to transform into a powerful, Danzig style chorus. While the former creates a sense of unease, the latter is pure power, anger and passion. “Vultures Circle Overland” uses a similar approach. “All the Colors of the Dark” use creepy organs and heavy guitars to build a sound that could best be described as Type O Negative writing a dark 80’s goth song. This track in particular oozes fear, and shows Bloody Hammers’ mastery of their craft.
With their fifth release, Bloody Hammers shows no sign of slowing down. They momentum they build with each album becomes the driving force for the next attack. The Horrific Case of Bloody Hammers is as unsettling as a horror movie, leaving the listener never knowing when the killer creeping up behind might strike. Dark grooves circle until it is impossible to resist, drawing the unsuspecting victim into the band’s haunted world. Anders Manga has earned his reputation as a goth legend, and continues to prove his right to the crown via Bloody Hammers.
Reviewed by Jim 1340