Bloody Hammers – Lovely Sort Of Death album review

Occult US doom crew Bloody Hammers start to look on the bright side with new album

Bloody Hammers, 'Lovely Sort Of Death' album cover

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Having surfed in on the occult rock wave in 2012 with a self-titled debut, a witchy organist and a wobbly purple logo, this North Carolina troupe are about to unveil their fourth album in five years.

Singer/bassist/songwriter Anders Manga’s back catalogue of darkwave/goth/synth-pop is becoming increasingly audible in what was once his doom project.

With a magazine named Occult Rock and a soundtrack to an imaginary horror film to his recent credit, Manga’s prolific workrate sometimes seems less the result of ceaseless creative energy than an indiscriminate desire to put out every idea he has. Perhaps sensing the diminishing returns of the scene that spawned them, Lovely Sort Of Death cuts a path between fuzz riffs through pop melodies, new wave vibes and electro soundscapes. If this puts off the doom-hounds, Bloody Hammers’ most accessible material proves the most convincing; Messalina is one of their sharpest, savviest tunes, excepting the clunky stoner riff in the middle. Rocking with a workaday plod, Bloody Hammers sound more at home with pop.

Chris Chantler

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.