ALBUM REVIEW: Hammerhedd – Grand Currents


The biggest challenge for prodigious talents Henry, Eli, and Abe Ismert is the need to shift the narrative from discussion around their ages (18, 16 and 13 respectively) and their undoubted potential to the types of plaudits and eulogies that adorn the releases of the artists they aspire to be considered in the same breath as; the Mastodon’s and Gojira’s of our twisted, alternative Metal world. Previously released via Bandcamp in the COVID-restricted summer of 2020, the brothers from Kansas City are re-issuing their debut Grand Currents (self-released) on the back of a groundswell of support for singles ‘Sediment’ and ‘Foundation’, this time accompanied by a physical release.

An album of peaks and valleys, when flying high Grand Currents achieves that aim of refocusing the story to one of deserved acclaim. A twisted post-Thrash underbelly is a tough core that provides a grounding to a progressive modern Metal mentality, holding the expansive sensibilities on a tight leash that the brothers may do better to loosen on further releases. For it is those moments that seek to crack the skye that do Hammerhedd the most credit: halfway through ‘Drone’ and the Voivod-ian cortex wraps itself around a rhythmic Tool-esque build, or the discordant judder of the back-nine of ‘Sediment’. When they indulge their musical expressionism they really show their hand and talk of potential begins to be realised.

Yet, their greatest weapon also highlights their greatest shortcoming. While Henry Ismert is expansive and able to find twisted barbs in his guitar work, exploring spaces that Mastodon and Helmet have opened up, his rudimentary vocal output undermines both the finished artistic product, and the bands reach and appeal. To make the step that Hammerhedd (and let’s be honest, the band name doesn’t help either but we’re probably too far down that line to unwind that one…) could potentially make and to invade the alternative conscience in the ways the aforementioned other Progressive Metal leading lights have, they will need to find a way to bring the vocal performance up to the technical level of the other instruments on display, in a way the ideas and musical vision deserves.

Still, time is on their side. And Grand Currents possesses more than just flashes of potential. It does intimate there is more to come, yes, which can only be a good thing, and it is also a valid and worthwhile investment of your time, even if only to have been onboard for if and when they do find a way to raise the vocals to the level of the other instruments somewhere down the line.

Buy the album here: https://linktr.ee/hammerhedd​

6 / 10

STEVE TOVEY


ALBUM REVIEW: Psychosomatic – The Invisible Prison


 

Sacramento thrashers Psychosomatic pile on the riffs with their sixth full-length studio album The Invisible Prison (Nefarious Industries). Formed in 1988 by bassist/vocalist and sole remaining original member, Jeff Salgado, the current line up is completed by guitarists Daniel Mills and Viktor Hansen, and the returning Toby Swope on drums.Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Entropy – Force Convergence


Formed in 1989, but with less than a handful of full-length studio albums to their name, Canadian thrashers Entropy aren’t exactly the most prolific act in the universe. A seventeen-year absence from 1995 to 2012, and a gap of eight years since their previous album hasn’t helped, but whenever the two remaining original members, vocalist Ger Schreinert, and guitarist Dan Lauzon, do eventually get together, the results are always worth waiting for.Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Black Crown Initiate – Violent Portraits Of Doomed Escape – Century Media


After a four year absence (a handful of single releases aside), Pennsylvania-based Black Crown Initiate return with their third full-length release, Violent Portraits of Doomed Escape (Century Media). From black metal to progressive rock via blasts of technical death metal, BCI effortlessly combine a whole range of differing styles resulting in their most captivating and assured record to date.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Imperial Triumphant – Alphaville


Taking its title from the 1965 Jean-Luc Goddard movie of the same name, and reverberating with echoes of Fritz Lang‘s 1927 silent classic, Metropolis, everything about Alphaville (Century Media), the latest album from New York trio Imperial Triumphant, is costumed heavily in film noir science fiction. Its unique atmosphere furthered by impressive cover art from Zbigniew M. Bielak, the Polish artist noted for his work with Swedish act, Ghost.Continue reading


PODCAST: Episode 113- Imperial Triumphant Discusses “Alphaville”


Ghost Cult recently caught up with Zachary Ilya Ezrin of Imperial Triumphant over Zoom ti discusses their new album Alphaville, which is due out July 31st, 2020 via Century Media. Zachary discussed the surprising global acclaim of Vile Luxury, the creation of the new album, how Zach – drummer Kenny Grohowski and bassist Steven Blanco approach composing, the theme of the new album, working with guests such as Tomas Haake (Meshuggah), Phlegeton (Wormed) on guest vocals, Yoshiko Ohara (ex-Bloody Panda) as part of the choirs, RK Halvorson as part of the Barbershop quartet, Sarai Chrzanowski as part of the choirs, Andromeda Anarchia (Folterkammer, Dark Matters) as part of the choirs, J Walter Hawke on the trombone, and Colin Marston on guitars, choosing the distinctive cover songs that close the album, opinions on other costumed groups such as KISS and Ghost, and what comes next for the band. Pre-order Alphaville here and check out our chat. Continue reading


NEW MUSIC FRIDAY: July 10th 2020 New Music Releases


Purchase And Stream All The New Music Released Today!

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Former Metallica Bassist Jason Newsted Shares Home Video from Quarantine


Jason Newstead, former member of Metallica, has shared a home video with fans while self-quarantining with his wife, Nicole.due to the coronavirus in his home in Jupiter, Florida. To date, Newsted has been part of the Jupiter community for nearly 20 years. He captioned the clip: “Just having some fun during Social Distancing”.Newstead who has had other projects post-Metallica such as Echobrain and his solo Metal band Newstead as well as a member of Ozzy Osbourne’s touring band and Voivod. More recently he has done some charity shows with The Chophouse band of which he is the frontman. He also famously quit all social media in 2014, and didn’t comment on it publicly until 2017. Jason was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, along with Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, and Robert Trujillo, in 2009.Continue reading


Rock and Shock Festival Disbands


Sad news on the Festival and Convention front as the long-running Rock and Shock Festival in Worcester, Massachusetts has disbanded after 15 years. The announcement was made in a post to social media about the festival canceling all further festivals. The fest paired the best Horror convention and concert series in the USA and made use of both the famous Worcester Palladium venue and the convention center at the DCU Center up the block. Ghost Cult covered many Rock N Shock fests which featured incredible conventions, horror celebrities, amazing vendors , indie films, headliners such as Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, Disturbed, Danzig (including a pre-reunion Misfits headline set with Doyle), ICP, Ministry, GWAR, King Diamond, Type O Negative, Lordi, Disturbed, Mushroomhead, Voivod, Amorphis, Twiztid, Dark Tranquility, Hatebreed, Devildriver, Motionless In White, Death Grips, Superjoint, Wednesday 13, Sabaton, Prong, Witch Mountain, Sanctuary, Soilwork, OTEP, Shadows Fall, God Forbid, Cavalera, Conspiracy, Anthrax, Overkill, Misfits, and more!Continue reading