Warfare: Hammer Horror

 

HAMMER HORROR

Metal Forces Number 54 September 1990

Written By Mike Exley

“I had actually started to write this review several issues ago, but constant set backs and delays kept this excellent product off the street, that is until now. Strictly this isn’t an album by the Warfare that most people know, there’s no bash and crash, little unsociable behaviour and certainly no swearing. It’s a totally alternative metal album dedicated to a company which itself is seen today as original.

Original is a word you’ll hear quite often in this review, the Warfare line-up has changed and been added to for this project but the basic philosophy remains, “we do this because we want to remain original!”

Now, die hard Warfare fans bred on “Mayhem Fucking Mayhem,” will probably choke on their Weetabix when they hear this, but really they shouldn’t, because to be a fan of this band is to snub the stereotype and to put for ones identity in a similar way to Hammer’s early years. I appreciate that the lyrics might seem fantastic and that all that keyboard and sax might seem OTT, but Hammer was fantasy and Warfare aren’t really springing this stuff out of the blue (“A Conflict Of Hatred”). Instead of insulting the auspicious studio with the blood and gore stuff the band lay a subtle musical statement alongside the Hammer stories which could almost be there as a modern day musical film score and with crisp production and mature orchestration, shown beautifully on “Plague Of Zombies,” or “Solo Of Shadows.” It’s really quite astonishing how a band that produced songs such as “Projectile Vomit” or “Mayhem Fucking Mayhem,” could now put so much feeling into a track like “Tales Of The Gothic Genre.”

The album may be difficult to pin down at times and it’s difficult to compare it’s qualities as an album to it’s qualities as a Warfare product due to the two intertwining, but I’m sure you’ll find pursuing the solution very rewarding.

If you like sweating it off a bit though and really can’t do without it, there’s still “Baron Frankenstein” to keep you happy but this is just a mere fraction of the time on the LP and should not be the sole reason you undertake it’s listening. Be fairer on yourself, allow more alternatives to take a hold and if this sounds like preaching (usually a cardinal sin for journalists to do) it is and I don’t care.

EXCELLENT 90


SOUND TRAP

Fear Magazine No.21 September 1990

Written by John Gilbert

The calm, oppressive atmosphere of Hammer’s gothic countryside disturbed by the raging torments of rock guitar and the pendulum beats of drums: I couldn’t imagine it at first but once I’d heard Warfare’s heartfelt tribute to Hammer’s horror tradition, I had to admit a certain liking for it.

The enthusiasm the lads show on their album is infectious, and equivalent to that displayed by Cushing and Lee on the set of a Dracula or Frankenstein movie. Evo, the group’s energetic lead singer and writer, storms out the words to such tracks as ‘Hammer Horror’ ‘Plague Of The Zombie’ and ‘Solo Of My Shadows’. My favourite anthems, however, have to be ‘Phantom Of the Opera’ which does not mention the central character once but he keeps reminding you that he is there in the shadows, and ‘Scream Of The Vampire’ which is indeed an accolade of Hammer  at its hammiest.

Pure-blooded rock aficionados may not appreciate the somewhat restrained and muted music and lyrics, but Hammer fans will be pleased to know that the words are decipherable, and surprisingly relevant to the subject matter. Evo is obviously a Hammer fan (see FEAR Issue 20) and, within the context of rock music, has obviously done some justice to the filmic material. Buy it and experience yet another aspect of the Hammer horror phenomenon.  

4/5