Last time I came into contact with Chilean metalheads Lucifer’s Hammer, around the time of their 2016 full-length debut, Beyond The Omens, the band were running a pretty nice line in NWoBHM worship; In 2021, they still are…
… Well, they are up to a point, because what’s the point of being a revivalist heavy metal band if you don’t reference the genres greatest names and moments? That’s right – there’s no point. But it’s noticeable after a couple of listens to new album The Trip that the band have broadened their horizons a little, relying less on the early works of Iron Maiden and Angel Witch, in the process injecting a little more of their own personality into proceedings with pleasing results.
Land of Fire, for instance, is a tremendous romp through the hinterland of heavy metal circa 1984, starting off like W.A.S.P. before heading into the sort of territory usually habituated by names like Jaguar or Chateaux; guitarists Hades and Hypnos certainly know how to spank a plank or two, and between them they bring the hairs on the back of the neck briskly to attention on more than one occasion. Similarly some of Titan‘s drumming is top drawer, particularly his fills on All Stories Come To An End, which will have you involuntarily mimicking his avalanche of tom tom work in mid air – don’t listen to this album on headphones in the office. You have been warned.
Hades doubles up on vocals again and, though his singing has improved tenfold since Beyond The Omens, it’s still a sound that only confirmed rivet heads and earthdogs will love. However that’s bye the bye as, when the band fires on all cylinders, as they do on the quite superb (and, it has to be said, Maidenesque… very Maidenesque) The Winds of Destiny, you’ll be too busy banging your head to ponder questions of timbre and pitch. When Lucifer’s Hammer really let go, it’s a thing of heavy metal beauty. Especially Tyr‘s rumbling, Killers-styled bass playing at the end of the track….
At the end of the day traditional heavy metal is meant to be enjoyed, and this is a very enjoyable slab of traditional heavy metal indeed. Dig in!
The Trip Releases on June 11th.