STYLE: Hard Music RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 916- LABEL: Nuclear Blast NB2736164002 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Alex Figgis
Not even 12 months since the release of 'Triumph Of Mercy', Steve Rowe and crew return with what is arguably their finest set of original compositions to date. Thanks to Nuclear Blast in europe and Metal Blade Records in the States., 'Hammer...' looks set to be herd virtually the world over, resulting in potentially global evangelistic opportunities for a band intent on making the Gospel heard, taking the message into some of the more threatening environments. Founding member Steve Rowe (bass/vocals), Lincoln Bowen (guitars) and Keith Bannister (drums) are here joined by featured musicians sally Part (harp) and producer/engineer Mark McCormack (piano/keyboards), resulting in a truly dynamic brand of classic tinged metal that grabs and maintains the listener's attention throughout. Stand out cuts include 'Martyrs', a full onslaught of metal mayhem that vividly describes a number of true accounts of believers who have lost their lives as a result of persecution for their faith in Jesus Christ; 'A Pearl', complete with passages of harp and piano; 'Ride The Light' and the awesome opening cut 'Metal Crusade' clocking in at over seven minutes. 'Hammer Of God' also contains passages 'At War With War', "Visited By An Angel' and 'Unified truth", offering an intriguing insight into how such compositional ideas take shape. Steve Rowe's vocals and bss playing are thankfully on top form this time around, as indeed are Lincoln and Keith's playing where the former displays some superb playing throughout the project, demonstrating a higher level of skill and maturity when compared to Mortification;s last two albums. All the elements are in place within "Hammer..." to make it a truly classic album, both in sonic and lyrical detail.
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