Hammerhead – Destroyer Review

Band names do deceive. I’ve told that many times before and here I have one more example to prove my point. Hammerhead to me is at least would be the name of a NWOBHM band, maybe Thrash, but never belonging to the first wave of Heavy Metal bands sounding as if they were Black Sabbath, Nazareth or even early Judas Priest with some dashes of 1970s Heavy Rock. That’s the impression I got while listening to “Lonely Man,” the track that opens up “Destroyer,” that strong rememberance was of The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Maybe, just maybe, Hammerhead may have found the lost connection between Black Sabbath and The Jimi Hendrix Experience. However, when the fan listens to all the album many bands will be reminded. Yet, there are some dashes of early Deep Purple and some The Who in “Devil’s Soldier,” for instance. Perhaps, I guess, a more accurate view about “Destroyer” is that it is a trip throughout all 1970s Heavy Rock features with some more elements of Psychedelic and Acid Rock as the keyboards in the aforementioned track. I really appreciate the tones of the guitars and the drums. I really like the sound of overdrive in the guitars. It gives them some kind of mysterious and mystic aura which is perfect to the sonancy the band is looking for. The drumming is tight and has that dry sound that makes it even more economic. No fancy drumming here, that’s the rule. I really like it.

It’s funny how we get deceived by things. I had the feeling that “Destroyer” was too faithful to the late 1970s to be a modern band. You know what I’m saying, even bands try harder and harder to emulate the classic 1970s sonancy a skilled ear can notice the differences. That’s exactly what happened to me. At first I thought the band was the real deal, but as I have beein receiving lots of brand new material I thought it would be the case. But no, my fan. “Destroyer” is an anthology. All the recordings were from that especific epoch and sound like them. A perfect sample is “Crying As I’m fall” and its guitar tone and the vocals. I appreciated a lot the guitar solo in “I’ll Be Back” and its nieve phrasings. The charm of it is the awkward notes guitarist Brian Hodgson plays. Some are out of, but that’s the charm. And of course, the overdrive tone. In a more accurate analysis, the fan will notice that “I’ll Be Back” has its musical structure taken from NWOBHM mixed with the tones of late 1970. I liked it very much. The same happens to “Time Will Tell.” This happened because as any anthology “Destroyer” goes a bit later in the band’s era. It sounds a bit more NWOBHM than the others without loosing its 1970s sonancy charm.

“Destroyer” is an album for the fan who likes the origins of Metal music. Kind of an archeology of Metal music. Sweet.

Hammerhead “Destroyer” will be released on August 27th via High Roller Records.

Track Listing:

  1. Lonely Man
  2. Devil’s Soldier
  3. Lochinvar
  4. Second Best (BJ Special)
  5. Crying as I Fall
  6. I’ll Be Back
  7. Time Will Tell
  8. Lonely Man
  9. Lochinvar

Watch “Time Will Tell” official video here: