HAMMERDRONE - A Trinity Of Rage (EP Review)

HAMMERDRONE – A Trinity Of Rage

The Band And Concept:

Hammerdrone are a five-piece band from Calgary in Canada. Featuring Graham Harris (vocals), Curtis Beardy (rhythm guitar), Teran Wyer (bass), Rick Cardellini (lead guitar) and Vinnie Cardellini (drums), they have been around since back of 2010 with their first EP (A Demon Rising) coming out 2012. Since then, they have released a number of singles and EPs along with two full-length albums. They describe themselves as “death metal that happens to be melodic” rather than melo-death. They also say that they use harsh vocals only as it adds to the heavy intensity of the songs and vibe. The new EP due on Friday 10 December is a concept piece which if buying from their Bandcamp page (link will be at bottom of review) also allows you to download the storybook which goes with the music. Having read it I can testify that it does help in understanding what it is all about. To give a very short rundown there is a second book of Revelations (last book of the Bible) which foretells greater destruction than even the normal book of the bible does (I am being a little vague so anyone who decides to check it out fully and purchase the EP and extras can enjoy it unfolding in front of them).

“Bloody Heavy”:

There are just 3 songs and around 20 minutes of music on the EP with the second track being the longest at nearly 11 minutes. It is death metal with melody, but it is also very progressive in delivery too. It is all about betrayal, broken faith and vengeance, and has plenty of anger and despair within it. Track one (all tracks are called “Rage” with a part number before the title) “Corporeal” is the shortest piece and comes in with double kick drumming, furious riffage and guttural vocals. Yes, it is bloody heavy! The title refers to how the central character’s anger has become real, the embodiment of which will wreak vengeance on his enemies. I like the lyric line which says, “I bear my lifetime’s fury into battle”. There are a couple of more melodic parts in the middle and end where the music becomes gentle. There is also a short but well-executed guitar solo in the middle.

Hammerdrone: The Band

Hammerdrone: The Band

“11 Minutes Fly By”:

Second track “Besieged” opens with a voiceover similar to what Manowar have on a few of their songs, all the while there are quiet voices in the background. There is some nice atmospheric use of the cymbals as the music comes in along with some slower guitar strumming. It is all very ominous-sounding which considering it is foretelling an apocalyptic event seems the correct mood setting. There are lots of references to things seven in number which is fitting as the Bible itself uses that number regularly (53 times alone in Revelations and 670 throughout the whole book for those interested) normally as a figure of completeness. This is going to be complete devastation. It heavies up with Graham Harris’ voice going from shrieks to deathly growls matching the changes in rhythm, pace and time changes along with the mood, which also has the effect of keeping the listener on edge, it did me! Despite being brutal in parts there are some gorgeous/melodic guitar lines going on. There is quite a lengthy guitar solo which befits the track and then a bass section with drum rolls sitting in the background. It ends with what I think is the sound of embers burning and destruction almost complete. The near 11 minutes fly by as they have committed enough variation to keep it interesting. They also on this show that they can incorporate a little jazz styling into their sound to go with the prog.

Who Wins, Who Loses?:

They finish with “Consummated” which has quite a jaunty opening (bizarrely enough) between the guitar and bass before going full-on death metal. There does sound like they have some keys on this, but I could be wrong. Vocally the character goes from fury to sneering and mocking and back again throughout. I won’t say who wins or loses, who lives, who dies, I will allow listeners to find out themselves. There is a minute of silence at the end which firstly annoyed me, but then I thought it might be a silence to mourn those who died. If so, nice touch!

Final Thoughts:

I thoroughly enjoyed the EP and all that goes with it. A great mix of prog and death metal with melody and a hint of jazz. This is the first time I personally have come across them and they sound like a band that knows exactly what they want to do and have the experience and talent to deliver. The whole thing has been mastered by Jens Bogren (Amon Amarth and Rotting Christ amongst others) in Sweden so sounds terrific. Fans of bands like Carcass, Amon Amarth and Kataklysm should dig this enormously.

Out Friday 10 December 2021

Purchase via Hammerdrone Official BANDCAMP

Official Website // Official Facebook Page