Review: Hammers’ Vardøgr

Hammers are a Manchester trio making the most relentless metallic hardcore this country has to offer. Vardøgr is a mini-album of sorts as even though it’s a traditional 10 tracks in length, it’s all over and done with in 19 minutes. As you can imagine, that means Hammers don’t mess about and all their songs get to their point in an average of 2 minutes.

Originally released on 10” vinyl with some fantastic packaging that includes a mirror and a massive, screenprinted booklet, Vardøgr has been given a 2nd pressing with new artwork on cassette by the wonderful people at Church of Fuck. If you’ve missed an opportunity to own this record then now is a better time than any.

Hammers real strength is their style which is ungoverned by tempo and time signature. Their music is beautifully loose and wild and calls to mind My War-era Black Flag but with all the intensity and vigour you would expect from a modern hardcore record. If there was ever a true representation of chaos as music then Hammers have managed to encapsulate it with finesse.

The driving force behind the entire record is the unruly guitar work which twists and turns from hardcore riffing to mathy, technical flare. It almost sounds like the drums, bass and vocals are working against the guitar to contain it from bursting into its’ own tangent. It’s also pretty remarkable how such intense and complex guitar-work can also be so memorable.

The only real negative we can throw at Vardøgr is that the production can be a bit inconsistent. Certain songs sound muddier than others and can break the flow of the record to a degree. Fortunately for Hammers this is the only real negative we can find.

Vardøgr is a rather spectacular example of madness being bottled and distributed as music. Hammers sound absolutely volatile but manage to maintain a sound that is entirely their own. Not many bands can lay claim to such a unique style and Hammers should be immensely proud of Vardøgr for showcasing that so brilliantly. Where this band go from here only Satan knows.

9/10

Order the Church of Fuck re-print of Hammers’ Vardøgr on cassette now. You can also download the record from Hammers’ official Bandcamp.

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About Lewis Clark

Long time fan of rock and metal, webmaster and lead writer at UK Scumscene. Occasional co-host of Catbird's Sunday Roasting on TotalRock.com, 12pm to 3pm every Sunday View all posts by Lewis Clark

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