Nima: This British band has been around since 2004 and have release several demos and EP’s, but it wasn’t until last month that the band’s debut long player was released. I had never heard of these guys before to be honest, so ‘Rites Of Passage’ is my first acquaintance with them.
Musically Hamerex mainly concentrates on old-school, traditional heavy metal with a heavy thrash edge, with influences varying from Testament, (old) Metallica to Kiss, Judas Priest and of course Iron Maiden. The riffs delightfully kick in and invite you to tap along with your feet and make your head go up and down in approval. Despite the fact that the compositions are rather simple, and the band is doing nothing renewing or original, the band makes a good first impression. However, the songs don’t contain a moment of highlight and doesn’t manage to keep me focused for long. In the slower passages the album even threatens to collapse!
My biggest problem with this band are however the vocals. The screaming vocals may sound tough and aggressive, but don’t fit to the music in my opinion. In the additional info sheet with my promo it is said that the band also sounds modern because of this, which I can agree on, but whether it is also good or not I leave for what it is. I personally don’t like it, but apart from that the vocals are often close to the false edge and really suck out the listening pleasure for me. Altogether ‘Rites Of Passage’ is definitely not a bad debut, but there is still much work to be done if the band wants to match today’s – very high – standards.
Lords of Metal