Hamerex are a group I have covered many times, with each release the song writing improves and they tend, more often than not, to throw a few curveballs into the mix just to make it interesting. The one thing that remains the same is the honest metal that kicks out more so with such great vocals, that have a near comparison to latter Bruce Dickinson in tone and the stature of some of his second solo release in terms of phrasing and highlighted on ‘The Nameless One’.
‘The Dark Tower’ has some sublime guitar work, whilst those curveballs come in the form of a really cool instrumental called ‘The Abyss’. Which is as haunting as a 70’s sci-fi soundtrack and even delves into black metal drumming patterns towards the end. The epic number is ‘The Evil Within’ and at over 9 minutes, the arrangement goes with the duration by being quite expansive and occasionally thrashing its way into the numerous licks and riffs and well-formed solos. I still find the drum sound of the snare a little thin in places, highlighted more so at the beginning of the album, but once the music surrounds the sound, its fills out somewhat. ‘Dead Mountain’ is very hard hitting then there’s some great Savatage-isms riffing away during ‘Eyes of Deceit’. For me, this is the standout track on this release, my favourite anyway.
Hamerex have worked hard and have an album that should serve them well, they have well and truly put in the groundwork over the years, perhaps some more expansive live shows at more far reaching locations may come along in the future, but for now, ‘Traitor’ and its story comes at you in a very commendable fashion, devoid of trends of late, and earthed in the roots of British heavy metal. With each release I find more enjoyment, as tedious as I may sound, but this is their best work to date proving that if you work hard and pay your dues, the rewards are plentiful!
(8/10 Paul Maddison)