Album Reviews

Skull Hammer – Pay It In Blood

Relased By : Self Released

Genre : Thrash Metal

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Steve ‘Ace’ Mcardle – Vocals, Guitar

Dan Kowal – Drums

Glen Reed – Bass


1. Soldier Of Misfortune

2. I Defy

3. Pay It In Blood

4. Balls To The Bone

5. Nuclear Holocaust

6. The Gladiator

7. Blasphemy

8. Born Evil

9. Convicted Of Conviction

10. Hit By God

One genre that has gone from strength to strength over the last handful of years has been Thrash Metal. As well as having some of the giants from yesteryear reforming and releasing great albums, and even METALLICA finding some sort of decent form after years of obscurity, we have also had an abundance of newly formed acts taking the genre to unprecedented heights. Some of these bands have added some classic trash influences to a modern metal sound and some have taken the classic 80’s sound and released albums that are as if the last twenty years didn’t even exist. For fans of thrash metal in all of it’s forms like myself, the last five years or so have been absolute bliss, but one thing has slowly started to become evident – a lot of these bands are starting to sound the same.

Enter SKULL HAMMER, a new band that I had the pleasure of discovering a very short time ago. While they take their main point of course from some of the more extreme classic bands of the 80’s like SLAYER and KREATOR, they also show a great influence from traditional heavy metal and the NWOBHM sound that is still so sorely missed to this day. What this means, is that the new album PAY IT IN BLOOD should appeal to just about anybody that listens to metal from the eighties and early nineties and is a refreshingly different take on the thrash metal genre.

As soon as the chugga-chugga starts on opening track SOLDIER OF MISFORTUNE, it is clear that SKULL HAMMER is a retro act, but when the double kick neck-snapping riffs start coming hard and fast, you can’t help but enjoy yourself. Title track PAY IT IN BLOOD, NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST, BLASPHEMY and BORN EVIL are all great songs that take you back to a simpler time when metal was just called metal and all of it’s followers stood together united, and I just hope that anyone who calls themselves a metal fan can find something to like on this album. Sure there has probably been albums released this year with better songs and bigger productions and probably better musicianship, but very few albums so far in 2010 have given me as much of an overall feeling of escapism to a simpler time than what PAY IT BLOOD did, and for that I am very grateful to have heard it and also very willing to recommend it to everybody that reads this review.

Written By ZeeZee

Rating : 9/10

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