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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Review: Lucifer's Hammer - Beyond The Omens


Lucifer’s Hammer is a Chilean band that was created in 2013. On the same year they released a demo called “Night Sacrifice Demo MMXIII”. Their style is definitely classic heavy metal straight from the glorious 80s. Influences from Iron Maiden (Di’ Anno’s era), Dio, Black Sabbath and with tons of NWOBHM. For some unexplained reason I got a strong feeling of Cloven Hoof (another great but unfortunately underrated band from the same era). A Helloween vibe from when they were fronted by Kai Hansen was also apparent however Lucifer’s Hammer do not utilize the same uptempo as Helloween did in the so called speed metal days.

Musicianship is adequate without surprises. Various riffs color the songs and give that long lost 80s scent that’s missing from today’s bands. A good example is the instrumental track “Lucifer’s Hammer”.

Hades and Hypnos (funny nickname that means sleep in Greek language!) do a good job with their riffs and solos while drumming from Titan is on acceptable level but sadly leaves a lot to be desired since their plenty of moments where a more ferocious attack would be much appreciated.

The vocals are one of the biggest weaknesses of this band. It’s more than obvious that Hades is not a capable singer. Poor phrasing and lots of sour notes that fly all over the place. However what his voice lacks in technique he certainly makes up for pure passion. At times he brought in mind the golden days of Kai Hansen when he was singing on the absolutely phenomenal albums “Helloween” and the superb “Walls of Jericho”. However produced and mixed this album definitely had this in mind and as a result his vocals aren’t dominating the sound leaving more room for the other instruments.

Production suffers from quite a few flaws. While each instrument has its own place can be easily heard the result is poor and lacks punch. Having guitars this obscure you’d expect from unknown bands back in the mid 80s.

In conclusion I was unimpressed by “Beyond the Omens”, yes Lucifer’s Hammer got some interesting but undeveloped ideas leaving hope for a future release. But for now this album is just a result of passion and inexperience on all levels. I think that this album will appeal to people who like obscure under produced stuff like many unknown bands released 30 plus years ago.

Written by Manos Xanthakis

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