Lucifer’s Hammer – The Trip

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Lucifer’s Hammer is not the story about the lord of the underworld comparing size with the Norse god of Thunder. It is in fact a reference to a dystopian sci-fi novel from the late seventies by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. In short, it tells about a comet, nicknamed ‘the Hammer’ threatening to impact with the Earth Armageddon style.

However, we are not a book club, so what is the link to the music here? Lucifer’s Hammer is also a story of 4 Chilean metalheads totally enraptured by the NWOBHM of the eighties. In line with the recent rekindling of this new wave of epic heavy metal, Lucifer’s Hammer is one of its most promising  new representatives from Latin America. ‘The Trip’ is the band’s third full-length record after their 2016 debut ‘Beyond the Omens’ and the sophomore ‘Time is Death’ 2 years later. They started out as a duo with Hades and Titan, with a second guitarist Hypnos joining after the demo days. A slew of bass players later they seem to have settled on new guy Tyr for now.

The new album takes a step up in songwriting complexity and production, although they have taken care not to over polish it. At the end of the day this is still the kind eighties worship that would be robbed of all its power and intent with a compact, all too modern approach. It’s a pretty short record with its 7 songs clocking in just over half an hour. It opens up with a high falsetto scream in the vein of King Diamond, but this is in fact a bit misleading, since vocalist Hades usually sings in a much lower register for most of the album.

All songs are pretty up tempo, giving a lot of opportunity for the two guitarists to show their skills through flashing guitar duels. This culminates on the penultimate song ‘The Winds of Destiny’ which even sees a well timed return of those high pitched vocals at the end. This blazes the way for the rather surprising, slow-burning closer ‘I believe in you’.

Release Date: June 11, 2020
Label: High Roller Records
Tracklist:

  1. The Oppression
  2. The Forest of Tar Tac
  3. Land of Fire
  4. All Stories Come to an End
  5. Illusion
  6. The Winds of Destiny
  7. I Believe in You

REVIEW SCORE

  • Music8/10
  • Lyrics/Vocals8/10
  • Production8/10
  • Artwork9/10
  • Originality7/10
8NWOBHM from Latin America in 2021? Lucifer’s Hammer proves that it can work.
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