They still sound primarily like they’re from turn-of-the-millennium Sweden. This is melodic death metal from a time before the term got infected by metalcore and Youtube, a combination of early Soilwork and Amon Amarth. Even when they do a ballad (“Wraiths on the Horizon”) they don’t allow any clean vocals to sully their commitment to metal.
Hammerdrone has evolved somewhat. They’ve drawn in some of the slightest hints of circa-2000 Dimmu Borgir, like the tremolo riffing in “Triumph” or the symphony-like melodies in “Kelpie.” I hate to draw these comparisons to bands who’ve ruined their own reputations (not Amon Amarth, they’ve always fucking ruled and always will). But these Canadians have recaptured what made Soilwork (and Dimmu) great in the first place, without treading the paths they’ve gone since.
Nothing revolutionary is happening here, but it doesn’t have to. As with their EP, it’s the ultra-catchy songwriting that makes it worth your attention. It might be slightly less compelling across a full-length than that incredible short-player, but not by much. Somebody sign these guys already.
The Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars