I always maintain that an album needs a good, gripping opening to help it get off to a good start, but unfortunately with Hamerex’s second album IX, opener/intro track Circles doesn’t have much substance and leads into a full-length number that doesn’t quite go the distance. It almost feels like there’s something missing…but by the time the fourth track Edge Of Madness kicks in, all is forgiven because quite simply, this track is just face-meltingly awesome and gets things moving nicely.
Edge Of Madness has a lot more meat to it and it’s an all-round memorable track with catchy guitar lines and fairly powerful vocals that take things to a whole new level. This is a song that showcases exactly what this band is capable of and things continue strongly with tracks such as Mortuary and Descent Of Angels being two particularly strong inclusions but it’s the eleven-minute epic The Night Of Samhain that really steals the show.
Opening with atmospheric acoustic guitar, the track slowly builds up until the electric guitars kick in and the introduction takes another route. As the song progresses, it’s almost like the band want to explore every avenue of their sound and it subsequently makes for an interesting listen, with the sparser middle section a particularly good inclusion as it helped to divide the track up nicely before the noise kicks in again. This is followed by an acoustic outro not dissimilar to how it all began, so it feels like the track has gone full circle and it just works.
Hamerex are onto something great with IX and after a slightly shaky start have proven that they’re certainly a force to be reckoned with.