Hammerdrone - Clone Of Europa

Canadian metallers Hammerdrone release their self released full length debut after an EP in 2012 and join a vast ocean of bands all bobbing up and down like flotsam created by the huge storm surge that has been melodic death metal over the last 20 years or so. The melodic death metal tag has, and continues to do so, annoyed me over the years, as death metal has always been melodic to my ears and adding that extra melodic descriptor just means you're not that heavy at all.

This debut begins with 'Prometheus Is Murdered' and the guitar hook that it opens with is very good, as the song quickly gear shifts into heavier territory and hints at the likes of God Dethroned for the melody and overall tone of the playing. Much of this release fits in the category of passable with every tune being a competent if generic take on the so softer end of death metal. The vocals are harshly growled but decipherable but probably the most extreme thing about this album within the context of death metal. The title track stands out for its acoustic piece opening that also creeps in at various points during the tune. The speed is half blasted but accessible and easy on the cranium with plenty of pinch and a groove metal undercarriage.

I did enjoy 'Jevons Paradox' with its fret widdle style lead intro and double kick follow up, the tune would be a match for older Dark Tranquillity and In Flames material. As my comments indicate this is nowhere near groundbreaking nor is it one of the better melodic death metal releases out there but the playing justifies the release of the album where the closing lengthy tunes of 'Kelpie' and 'Stormchaser' indicate at where this band will go next. The songs are more complex but where build up and atmosphere are preferred over launching riff missiles for the sake of it. The song writing here is adept, with much thought being afforded to flow and the transition from one section to the next on both compositions.

There is much to enjoy on this debut but also much that needs to be done in order for the band to retain their position in that vast ocean and be plucked out for more recognition before being swallowed up and sinking lifelessly into oblivion.

  1. Prometheus Is Murdered
  2. Subtle Knives
  3. Clone Of Europa
  4. Triumph
  5. Jevons Paradox
  6. Death In The Yukon
  7. Wraiths On The Horizon
  8. Kelpie
  9. Stormchaser

Self released
Reviewer: twansibon
Mar 29, 2014

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