• Enchanted by a shy gecko - A review of Master's Hammer's ''Formulæ''

    Master's Hammer - Formulæ (2016)

    Master's Hammer's ''Formulæ'' is one of the most original extreme metal releases in recent memory. The obscure Czech trio offers a creative blackened industrial metal effort. The band doesn't deny its extreme metal origins. Almost all tunes feature a desperate or sinister and at least mysterious atmosphere. The throaty vocals are omnipresent while occasional blast beat passages can be found at strategic moments throughout the entire release.

    However, each song offers something more than atmospheric extreme metal. The Czech trio experiments with darkwave sounds as in the danceable ''Maso z kosmu'', dominant bass sounds that meet brass instruments in the scary ''Votava'' and dobro sounds and nightmarish sound samples in the floating ''Rurální dobro''. ''Biologické hodiny'' even includes mysterious choirs that meet sounds reminding me of disturbing xylophone  tones which is something I've never heard before.The great thing about this release is that these different genre influences are employed in small doses and always sound perfectly integrated. They never get overwhelming or pretentious. The songs remain coherent and concise. While a first spin was enough to make me appreciate this record, the different tunes and the album experience as a whole grow with each spin. There are no fillers to be found on this release.

    My personal favorite on an outstanding release is ''Shy Gecko''. The psychedelic and simple chorus that seems to be performed by a female guest vocalist just doesn't get out of my head anymore. This track is clearly the most memorable on an album that always remains accessible despite its diversity.

    If you are curious to hear a mixture of blackened industrial metal and world music elements, Master's Hammer's new release could be a most exciting discovery. This album reminds me of an experimental mixture of Deathstars and Immortal with a multitude of different genre influences. Master's Hammer definitely adds a very distinctive, exciting and relevant sound and style to the metal scene.

    Final rating: 85%

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