Traitor – Lovely bit of doomy slide guitar intro, with a noticeably heavy, stoner essence, yet still uplifting, in its own way. Catchy, with a slight, very welcome, Disturbed echo, towards the mid-section. It’s instantly obvious how much the bands’ material has progressed since the last release. Moving ever upwards, in all the right places. Plenty of sexy riffage and still, I hear that gorgeous hark back to Disturbed, in that magical way that takes nothing away from Hamerex’s fresh individualism. An outstanding start, which hooks you in, immediately.
The Dark Tower – Pure beauty to that velvet smooth intro and a positive, undefeatable drum section. A clear band signature lives within the vocals now. Easily recognisable and good to hear the confidence which has grown through them. They’ve got the tones, pace and timing just right and it’s audibly cohesive. More catchy beats and incredibly intense and unquestionably classic ending. One with faint reminiscences to ‘Tallica’s ‘Creeping Death’. Brilliant.
Dead Mountain – That’s quite an intro – drum focused, clear and perfected. Majestically metal song, just brimming with all the right ingredients. Audio quality is stunning, as is the musicianship that’s gone into this. Almost tribal in its sound and rhythm. A clear candidate for anthemic rock right there.
The Nameless One – Think Maiden’s ‘Virus’ and you’re there. Pure sensual metalgasm. It’ll get into your heart, run through your veins and infect your blood in the way that only true metal does. Thoroughly pro and exciting vocals, showing the full range of consummate metal vocals, which’ll release all the pent-up emotion, as you hypnotically sing and scream along. Absolute catharsis.
Eyes Of Deceit – Fab, catchy as hell intro, sexily rapid pace and rhythm, to reel you in in no time. You’re gonna want more. Like a raging battalion, riding into battle, on galloping stallions. Takes you away from it all. Immensely strong performance, transporting you right to the places where all your metal dreams reside. Addictive and utterly breathtaking.
The Abyss – Gorgeous echoey riff intro, supported, in perfect time and rhythm, by those no-nonsense, hard as hell drum beats. Amazing how much value, magic and power you can get from one simple arrangement and how it can build in power and momentum. This really is a sheer mystical instrumental, of such massive proportions, it’ll literally take your breath away.
The Evil Within – Crash bang and right into the fray, with loud and joyful abandon. I can honestly say they’ve mastered the art of masterful metal. There’s something extremely mesmeric and powerful about this album. It was meant for front line, centre stage presence. It’s unstoppable. Some very clearly Slayeresque riffs in there and blazing, rather than fading out in fiery furious flames.
Journey’s End – Opening up like a gaping, ravenous hole, in the most volcanic sense; filling that hungry, empty space, with delicious riffs and a general feel of classic influenced compositions, straight from the heart of all your favourite old school bands combined and morphed into an exceptionally good NWOBHM sound. Beautiful fade out riff, of astounding quality. Aptly titled, energetic finale.
Overall – There aren’t words to describe the sheer magnitude of power, craftsmanship and absolute conviction in this album. It’s just an epic delight of anthemic metal, featuring the best and most addictive sounds you’ll hear this year. Add ‘Traitor’ to your top 10 metal albums now.
For fans of Metallica, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Anthrax, AC/DC, Slayer, Testament, Exodus, Disturbed, you get the picture. All that’s good about metal.