Whilst the schlocky, horror B-movie aesthetic has become somewhat de rigueur for occult-occupied doom acts we’ve nonetheless become accustomed to there still being something genuinely unsettling about them – scratch the melodious surface of Uncle Acid for example and you’ll find something just as dark as Electric Wizard.
Bloody Hammers: Under Satan's Sun
Occult rockers kit their Harleys out for comfort
Not so, however, with the (apparently) ‘Transylvania County’, North Carolina-based Bloody Hammers, who are to the likes of Wizard and Uncle Acid what The Devil Rides Out is to the Manson Family murders. Taking more than a few musical cues from seminal alt-sludgers Acid Bath – during the particularly eerie The Last Alarm especially – what Under Satan’s Sun lacks in threat it more that makes up for in melody and (whisper it) out-and-out catchiness.
With such compacted production and washes of fuzz so total it almost makes Acid King look smooth, the real driving force here is mastermind Anders Manga’s vocal flair, which switches at times exquisitely between classic rock wail and brooding, doomy baritone, with his keen ear for attention grabbing melody never more apparent than during opener The Town That Dreaded Sundown.