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Hammer Fight – Profound And Profane Award winner

Hammer Fight
Profound And Profane
by Anton Sanatov at 11 June 2016, 4:07 PM

Throw on a helmet, grab a sledgehammer, pin some nails in between your lips, and lets build a road that will take us to the top of the metal mountain. And that was perhaps the ‘mission statement’ behind HAMMER FIGHT's most recent offering "Profound And Profane".

Sometimes you throw on a record and it has the physical and mental impact of straddling a runaway freight of demon spawn down a crooked railway that the patriarch of hell himself chooses to avoid. That's when you know, as you hear the cackle of the cast iron wheels and screams of coal shuffling conductors, that you have bought the right ticket.

"Profound And Profane" sounds like a red-hot liquid metal alloy just before the point of solidification. This record is both fluid and hot in its resolve whilst remaining strikingly cool and solid in execution. The New Jersey outfit manage to fuse together the sturdy build of CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, the trembling grooves of FLOTSAM AND JETSAM, all whilst swinging punches with the strength of PANTERA and the attitude of BLACK FLAG.

HAMMER FIGHT commence, no, better yet kick-start the locomotion with "Picking Up Change", rumbling in on a rockslide of incessant drums and traditional, even Symphonically tinged 80's Metal guitar progressions which would soon resurface on the follow-up "Target Acquired".

Aiming to cover just about every genre that they can get their eager hands on, HAMMER FIGHT dip their banging heads into the pits of Thrash Metal with "Good Times in Dark Ages" and "Private Stock" before drying off and sticker-bombing their guitars to play the Hardcore numbers "Into The Dark" and "West Side Story" - and even bringing out the acoustic for the bluesy outsider's ballad "Low & Broken". Yet as they do so, their stylistic fusion is far from forced and their Punk/Metal blend is both heavy and reputable, going beyond what any other such traits in modern Metal have achieved; the wholesome Punk Rock anthem "Gods of Rock n' Roll" is evidence enough for any elitist jury.

The production on the record is superb; possessing the thickness of recordings circa the 90's but also providing some modern clarity and polishing it off (at times excessively) with some sterling mixing. The performance of the band members is stunning. Yes, there are occasional slacks in confidence, but overall HAMMER FIGHT are a machine. The ceaseless battery of drummer Justin Spaeth (who is simply a stud on the kit) propel the impressive shredding of guitar duo Todd Stern and Dan Higgins only to receive the blessing of the sandpaper vocal tones of Drew Murphy; phenomenal musicianship.

This is a record for everyone. It doesn't need to be dressed up or peddled; all it needs is a Metal fan. "Profound And Profane" is a neurone pleasing, genre-bending mind-fuck of goodness that will satisfy you station to station.
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

  1. Picking Up Change
  2. Target Acquired
  3. Into The Dark
  4. Good Times in Dark Ages
  5. Gods of Rock n' Roll
  6. Low & Broken
  7. Private Stock
  8. The Ultimate Sacrifice
  9. Cell Mates
  10. West Side Story
  11. The Crate
  12. Cult of Conceit
Drew Murphy - Bass, Vocals
Todd Stern - Guitar
Dan Higgins - Guitar
Justin Spaeth – Drums
Record Label: Napalm Records


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