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Hammr - Eternal Possession

Hammr
Eternal Possession
by Andrew Harvey at 22 April 2022, 6:01 PM

HAMMR is simply a one man band but the man behind all the music and who plays the instruments on all his previous releases is none other than J. HAMMER. His style can be seen as a combination of black metal, speed metal and punk, two of these subgenres which I have heard of yet interesting to hear a third additional genre like punk being thrown into the mix. It was said that HAMMR can ‘play just such a style, opting for a proto-black/speed metal sound that pays homage to debut-era BATHORY and the violent speed/thrash assault of ENDLESS PAIN-era KREATOR‘.

HAMMR have been going since 2013 and in 2014, released some demos independently as a compilation of 8 tracks. This and the EP titled HAMMR which was released in 2015, were also independently released. A further demo in 2016 then led to HAMMER's debut album UNHOLY DESTRUCTION which was released through HELLS HEADBANGERS RECORDS. Another compilation came in 2018 called HAMMR/SIN TO SIN but now there is a new album called ETERNAL POSSESSION which is a second full length album by this one man band.

The album starts with “Forces Of Sin” where there is but loud drum beats and cymbal hits but vocals move in to grab the attention of the listener as drums gallop on. The vocals create this swirling effect as they shriek and are sustained more. “Ritual Desecration” has the black metal sound wrapped around each instrument, drums stamp their authority with consistent backbeats. Guitar continues with fast, pulsating riffs aside from that, vocals roar so loud, it’s rather haunting than before.

Drums do follow a punk/hardcore sound but we can’t hear them as much, they seem to be pushed far back in the sound field and therefore, are rather vague at times. “Sleeping Chalice” is very much a continuation of similar drum patterns yet vocals also take the same occultic sound, it’s uncertain as to what the singer is saying, as the vocals also seem to be masked in some way. The track picks up the pace halfway through and steadies the tempo going forward on drums then faster once more. “Cascading Lustful Void” off the mark with cymbal hits, before drums dominate the background with guitar or vocals switching the lead instrument back and forth.

Screams as before are scary and deadly echoing for longer and swallowing up each instrument. “Suspicion” is no exception either with pounding drums and riveting guitar riffs as there is no end to this mania. The one element I did like about this track was the high end guitar harmonics but aside from this nothing new really. “Negative Shift” has that driven guitar noise but drums thunder on from start with more cymbal hits but still sounding like hardcore punk beats. “Eternal Possession” is as wild and threatening as previous tracks has portrayed but at the same time features the high end shrieks of horror from guitar and vocals as much.

Ceremonial Spite” just keeps the momentum going, producing the usual sounds we have heard throughout this album. I suppose we should remember that this black metal mashed together with speed metal or punk to give the music. “Torment Prevails Again” the last track on this album to close this compilation of tracks for good. Vocals even take a short pause before they roar even more and there is a way of stopping this. So we come to the end of this album and overall I would say that the words the singer speaks are very much around the same theme.

In the end, the album tends to repeat itself as similar approaches on guitar, vocals and drums. There is little or no time in between tracks for air to breathe for vocals, aside from when vocals do take a break in certain tracks but prolonged vocals or drums being repetitive makes the album more monotonous. There isn’t much more to say about this album but in comparison to the artist’s previous release, I would say this album is not quite what I expected, perhaps the ambitions of a crossover of black/speed metal with punk rhythms doesn’t quite work as well.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 5
Memorability: 5
Production: 6

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Forces of Sin
2. Ritual Destruction
3. Seeping Chalice
4. Cascading Lustful Void
5. Suspicion
6. Negative Shift
7. Eternal Possession
8. Ceremonial Spite
9. Torment Prevails Again
Lineup:
J. Hammer - All Instruments and Vocals
Record Label: Hells Headbangers Records
     


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