I have always held Calgary’s Hammerdrone in high regard. In the 4 years that they have been around they’ve made quite an impression on many of us here at EMTv and needless to say, when I was handed the group’s latest release “Clone of Europa” I had very high expectations. I am happy to report that I was not disappointed.
“Clone of Europa” is Hammerdrone’s first full length album and what it delivers is a progressively minded slice of death metal. The majority of the songs are mid-tempo crushers but they are also peppered with well-timed blastbeats; drummer Vince Cardellini’s double kick is a consistent driving force. My favorite aspect of the album is the interplay between guitarists Rick Cardellini and Curtis Beardy. The two work together seamlessly to construct a heavy groove and a melodic counterpoint that adds a lot of depth to each song. Gramm Harris’s powerful delivery and intense growl has made him one of my favorite Canadian death metal vocalists.
Hammerdrone’s “Clone of Europa” brings to mind bands like Behemoth, Rotting Christ and even Amon Amarth at times yet the group’s sound is definitely its own; the album blends melody and brutality perfectly. Some of the stand out tacks are “Subtle Knives”, “Death in The Yukon” and “Wraiths on the Horizon” but taken as a whole the album is incredibly good. The production is great: not too polished, gritty in the right places and each instrument has a distinct voice. If you are a death metal fan you owe it to yourself to check out Hammerdrone.