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Lucifer’s Hammer: The Trip

If you are looking for an interesting example of what some have deemed NWOTHM, the New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal, then The Trip from Lucifer’s Hammer is definitely worth a shot. The band, hailing from Chile, has two lead guitarists, Hypnos and Hades, the latter of whom also handles vocals. Rounding out the lineup are Tyr on bass and Titan on drums.

The album kicks off with “The Oppression,” a galloping romp reminiscent of 1980s Iron Maiden, which gives listeners a good idea of what to expect throughout the majority of the album. Hades’ vocals often come across as a combination of Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford, although he is no copycat.

The band is tight. In addition to the traditional heavy metal sound that permeates the album, I also hear touches of modern prog metal here and there, perhaps most prominently on “Illusion.” There are moments of what might be considered radio friendly hard rock as well, such as on the closing track, “I Believe in You.”

The title The Trip might suggest a concept album. But I can’t discern a common theme running through it, except for a certain unfortunate sameness to the sound of most tracks. That, and the brevity of the album, which is billed as the band’s third full-length release, even though it comes in at roughly 31 minutes, keep me from rounding up my rating from 3.5 stars to 4 stars. It is a good listen from a talented bunch of musicians, though, and an album that I will revisit.

Track Listing:
1. The Oppression
2. The Forest of Tar Tac
3. Land of Fire
4. All Stories Come to an End
5. Illusion
6. The Winds of Destiny
7. I Believe in You

Added: October 1st 2021
Reviewer: Aaron Steelman
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 511
Language: english

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Lucifer’s Hammer: The Trip
Posted by Carl Sederholm, SoT Staff Writer on 2021-10-01 19:37:08
My Score:

From time to time, I read sarcastic online stories that attempt to rank 80s metal videos by how cheesy or cheap they are. These stories are mildly entertaining and sometimes they even have me reaching for those old Krokus albums (though not searching out old Krokus videos�"I’m not crazy). Yes, the videos were often quite cheesy, but whatever people say about them, the music was sometimes lots of fun and it has certainly left a lasting impact.

That impact obviously takes many forms, but one of them is clearly in the ways Lucifer’s Hammer approaches their playing and songwriting. These guys really love their 80s metal, but they draw on familiar tropes in ways that are both playful and creative. Listeners will hear nods to Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Dio, King Diamond, and many, many others. And yet, they will also hear a band developing their own mature and confident sound.

Things open with the strong and impressive “The Oppression,” an up-tempo number that showcases the band’s developing confidence and maturity. One of the cool things about this band is how catchy their music is. That quality isn’t always evident (or necessary) in metal, but some bands play it up nicely. Lucifer’s Hammer is particularly good at being bouncy, heavy, and melodic at the same time. Fans of early Iron Maiden will find themselves at home with tracks like “All Stories Come to an End,” or “The Forest of Tar Tac.” Speaking of that mysterious forest, I highly recommend that track, if only to hear how the band plays up some nice rhythmic changes (and interesting key changes) along the way. Another highlight is “I Believe in You,” a mid-tempo chug that detours into a soft middle section. It’s a mellow track, but it works well and has a good overall structure. Check out “Illusion” as well. That track has a swagger in the middle section that would do early Def Leppard proud.

I had fun with this one. I’m not sure Lucifer’s Hammer will appeal to fans of the most extreme metal out there, but I should appeal to those who like classic metal and want to hear what these guys do with it.

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