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Damnations Hammer: Disciples Of The Hex

Heroic doom bellowed from the Lancaster/Hyboria border

Surely that band name should have an apostrophe in it somewhere? Pedantry aside, Damnations Hammer are a welcome addition to the UK roster of artists, this originally self-released debut album now made available to the wider world thanks to the devotees at I Hate.

A three-piece, the group is fronted by guitarist and vocalist Tim Preston – perhaps best known for his work in a previous life as bassist for Sleath, Epidemic and the once-popular, now somewhat forgotten Dearly Beheaded.

Moving away somewhat from the thrash and groove metal of the aforementioned acts – though retaining a few hints if you listen closely enough – Disciples Of The Hex is much more of an old-school proposition. It’s essentially doom metal with a heavily Celtic Frost-indebted crunch and an unusually chugging pace. There’s a certain heroic vibe in there – is that a Conan reference we hear? – and Tim’s strident vocals are certainly something of an acquired taste. All in all, though, this is heartfelt and engaging stuff.