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Hazemaze - Hymns of the Damned

Hazemaze
Hymns of the Damned
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 11 December 2019, 7:39 AM

HAZEMAZE is a Stoner/Doom Metal band from Sweden.  On their second full length album, “Hymns of the Damned,” they blow up the speakers and tear down any walls left standing afterwards.  This album is big, loud, and chock full of riffs and fuzz.  Of course, they also throw in elements of Blues and 70’s style Rock—they mix it up into a cohesive sound that works well for the trio.

Shadow In The Night,” starts with a strong drum beat laying down a tight foundation for the clean guitar tones.  Soon, it kicks into high gear with thick fuzz laden Doom riffs before the smoky, filtered vocals come in and fill up the sound.  I appreciated that unlike so many other bands of this style, HAZEMAZE don’t seem content with the standard “Sabbath worship,” Doom style.  There isn’t anything wrong with that but it is nice to hear a band steer away from that sound.  Nils’ drums compliment Ludvig’s riffs so well; he hammers the snare hard when he comes out of a thicker riff but works the cymbals and hi hats like magic when he is jamming out with those riffs.   This track is almost seven minutes long and, honestly, it needed to be a couple minutes shorter.  I found the best tracks on the album to be around the five minute mark, or less.  This is very much a personal preference but I feel this style works better with songs that hover around that golden five minute run time.

Thrill Seeker,” brings the music down to a deep low end compliments of bassist Stefan—no Doom band is worth a damn without a bassist who can deliver the tones required and he pulls it out expertly.  Ludvig’s vocals are stronger on this track, as there isn’t any effects on his voice.  I understand (and enjoy) the “haze” effect that a lot of Doom bands use but his vocals are actually very strong so it is good to hear them more naturally.

Solicitor of Evil,” is another track that, while decent, needed to shave a couple minutes on the bottom end.  However, it does bring good aspects especially the vocal rhythms.  The main riff is one of the best on the album too, a great combination of Doom and Blues but with a modern aesthetic. I found the band shines a little brighter with the shorter numbers, like “Green River,” and “Trapped In Hell.”  The former is surprisingly catchy with dirty riffs and a short but sweet solo.  The latter is a great sendoff for the album as it is rather aggressive and ends the album on a high note.  The last minute and a half of the track is ultra-sludgy and moves with the power of an avalanche. HAZEMAZE’s “Hymns Of The Dead,” may not bring anything new to the table but it is a solid, above average album well worth the time for Doom fans to invest in.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Shadow In The Night
2. Morbid Lust
3. Thrill Seeker
4. Lobotomy
5. Solicitor of Evil
6. Green River
7. Reverend Death
8. Forever Trapped In Hell
Lineup:
Stefan Carrillo – Bass
Nils Eineus – Drums
Ludvig Andersson – Vocals, Guitars
Record Label: Ripple Music
     


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