Hammerdrone is, according to the band’s well-written bio, a blackened death metal band from Calgary in Canada. Formed in 2010, the band have taken their time in recording their debut work – the four track EP ‘A Demon Rising’ and, while it may be a debut release, the various band members’ experience in other acts means that this is a professional sounding release that showcases a well-oiled, brutally precise band already beginning to find their sound.
Opening with the title track, Hammerdrone waste no time in demonstrating their flair for laying down crushing riffs with a subtle layer of melody keeping things memorable all the while; whilst props go to Vinnie Cardellini for his intense and near-perfect performance on drums and Graham Harris for his brutal, varied vocal work. This is not to ignore the searing riffs of Rick Cardellini and Curtis beardy which come into their own on second track ‘last stand on Gibraltar’, a track that once again makes good use of subtle textures and melodies to make sure that the tracks do not simply comprise naked aggression and no substance. Rick lays down solid solos when the need arises whilst the rhythm section of Vinnie, Curtis and bassist Steve Greenough make sure that the music remains precise and brutally heavy. Delivered with a burning intensity, it is clear that Hammerdrone have great potential, and their varied approach to song-writing keeps things interesting throughout. ‘Another winter’ is the band’s most classically influenced track, opening with the sound of roaring wind and blistering guitar work, hints of Cradle Of Filth’s earlier works alongside touches of Dark Tranquility and Katatonia keep the sound on the melodic side of gruelling death metal acts such as Behemoth, and it is only Graham’s platinum-throated performance that root the track within the realms of the extreme. The finale, however, is a work of pure primitive savagery and the well-named ‘annihilation in equilibrium’ is every bit the future classic its authors imagine it to be and you can imagine the crowd going ape in the mosh-pit for such a brutal, well-played slab of blackened death metal.
‘A demon rising’ may be a debut EP, but it offers great promise and a full-length release cannot arrive soon enough. Savage, but also intelligent and layered with numerous melodic flourishes that maintain the attention long after the initial shock and awe of the band’s delivery wears off, this is well-written and perfectly executed extreme metal with real bite. Well worth checking out – Hammerdrone may well prove to grow in stature over the course of 2013 – they certainly deserve to.
Check out the awesome video to ‘a demon rising’: