Latest updates:

We hope you enjoy your visit here. Please join or login if you have joined before.

MT @ Facebook

Not logged in

Users online

36 guests

Welcome to our newest member, willtravers

Hammerhedd – Grand Currents Award winner

Grand Currents
by Mark Machlay at 11 May 2021, 6:58 AM

If you listened to heavy metal albums an older sibling or parent gave you and immediately dreamed about forming a band with your siblings, cousins or even friends around your age, Kansas City, MO trio of brothers HAMMERHEDD are living your dream. They’re even doing so with a maturity and level of proficiency that belies their youth. The three Ismert brothers – elder Henry on guitar and vocals, Eli on drums and youngest brother Abe on bass – started out picking up instruments in 2012 because their father was a musician and very involved in music. They started out playing covers from their heroes SEPULTURA, METALLICA, EXODUS and GOJIRA and were constantly asked at gigs if they would ever play originals. They started working on building up their own repertoire of creative songs and soon were able to pull them out at gigs. They got a lucky break opening for HAVOK when they were working on their first EP and vocalist/guitarist David Sanchez reached out to them to help with what would become 2018’s “Essence of Iron”, recorded by lead guitarist of HELEVATE Dan Whitmer and mixed by Josh Cole.

Now they bring their unique blend of thrash/groove/sludge metal – maybe a hint of prog metal as well – on their latest, “Grand Currents”, their first full-length release. Speaking on the release of their album the band says, “We wrote “Grand Currents” with a bunch of influences in mind; it took us a whole year to write it. We were very focused on making an album that really meant something to us and stood the test of time, and we’re really proud of the way it turned out.” The now teenage brothers – Henry at 19, Eli at 16, and youngest Abe at 14 – HAMMERHEDD is delivering a monumental and sprawling work with near veteran level accuracy, showing the hours and dedication these young and hungry boys put into their music. The album was actually initially released in the “year of Covid” summer of 2020 but is now being re-released officially amid the support for their singles for “Sediment” and “Foundation” not just digitally but as a physical release as well.

For transparency, I have to admit that I have been following HAMMERHEDD on their youtube channel since they posted footage of when they opened for HAVOK and I was absolutely floored by the talent they possessed just three years ago. It’s clear that thrash is their main mode of operation but the album is a bit light on solos and mainly sticks to groovy, sludgy chugging and blast beat, alternate picking speed in a kind of “stop-and-go” kind of delivery. Henry Ismert’s vocals have certainly come a long way – mostly due to growing older and a natural dropping of tone – and comes close to emulating his heroes like Tom Araya of SLAYER or Max Cavalera but still lacks some of the “oompf” of his older contemporaries. I like the exploration taken on the album into almost post-metal territory, but sometimes it feels like an artificial way to boost the track and at times can be repetitive. Make no mistake, the musicianship of all three brothers is on point and I look forward to more from them, watching as they grow and mature with age. It’s clear from interviews they have a great passion and plan on sticking around for the long haul. This album was a huge stepping stone for the boys and leaps and bounds above their previous EP.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Gift of Fire
2. Sediment
3. Drone
4. Hypnocurrents
5. Foundation
6. Intuition
7. Electric Sense
8. Hypothermic Peace
Abe Ismert – Bass
Eli Ismert – Drums
Henry Ismert – Guitars & Vocals
Record Label: Independent


You do not have permission to rate

Metal Temple © 2000-2014
Yiannis Mitsakos

Designed, Implemented and Hosted by PC Green