Rites of Passage Review (Spirit of Metal)

Done in traditional heavy metal style, Hamerex is back for the attack with latest album, “Rites Of Passage”. Not being new on the scene at all, Hamerex have released a number of demos and EPs so it’s nice to see them finally release a full-length album and a damn good one at that. They manage to hone into that old school metal vibe while still having their own distinct sound. Chris Houles vocals are powerful and they come in strong with the first track, “Aftershocks of Death”. The album as a whole contains a great amount of high energy with some killer old school thrash metal riffing done by Steve Blower and Joe Wilson.
“Stalker” holds a nice bass intro before Chris comes in with full brutality on the vocals and chugs along at a pace that has you banging your head along with it. The guitar solo shows they know how to shred but still hold a decent amount of structure and technicality. “Hypnotise” is done in traditional British heavy metal style along the likes of the great Judas Priest. “The Lycan” is a great track but the vocals are a bit strained here and it sounds like Chris is going above his vocal range which might throw you off a bit but you’ll still want to give it a listen. He does have some great growls and guttural vocals here as well.
Coming in with a mellow acoustic intro, the self-titled track almost goes into that doom-metal territory but still manages to keep their signature thrash edge that keeps it balanced. “Army of Darkness” holds a sense of evil that captivates you with the riffs played in the background as well as Chris’s brooding vocals. “Waste Away” closes out the album perfectly with a great solo and more of Chris’s guttural vocals.
All in all I would say “Rites Of Passage” is an impressive album seeing as this is their first full-length and definitely worth picking up. I look forward to see what they have in store for us in the future!


Spirit of Metal

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