HardReviews 4
by Martin Popoff

Motorhead - Hammered
(Sanctuary)

A couple years hence, and it's time for another Motorhead album. Not much has changed, although a few spices have been added. There's a new studio and new producer to no discernible difference but there are also two or three very unconvincing little keyboard sounds (they pass briefly and quickly; don't get excited), as well as one very melodic sing-songy chorus (Lemmy says he's already caught journo flak from this two mo. before go), and at the end, a typically cynical spoken word piece. The rest? Rock 'n' rollsy Motorhead punctuated by one all-out speed demon called Red Raw, a couple too simple too stupids, and a bracing four in a row two-thirds through that are rich, bloody-minded experiences, best being No Remorse, a complex and gravelly grizzled look at mortality. And once more, despite my descriptive run through and around, I've played Hammered more than any record in the past two months, so perhaps, understand that its charms cannot be put into words, but that those charms are there in spades.
Rating 8

Hades - 1982-2002
(www.hadesusa.com)

It's been quite a run for this recently quite prolific progressive power traditional doom thrash band (it's a good sign when you have to string 'em together like that), what with the fine Metal Blade product from the last few years (three albums in four years actually) highlighting the dark riffs of Dan Lorenzo and the soaring vocal science of Alan Tecchio. So a pause to reflect perhaps is in order, 1982-2002 being a cool, 14 track comp that includes samplings from the recent stuff (Metal Blade kindly consented), the slightly rarer early/mid years, along with a harsh, ancient compilation track 'Gloomy Sunday', a live track and two offshoot band tracks, a lumbering almost stoner rock 'Fiend' from Dan's Cassius King and 'Something Wrong' a killer, highly groovy power chord monster from Alan's All Time Low. As well, the booklet includes five separate liner essays from the band looking at various points of the wild, often sporadically attended to ride so far. New album on the way.
Rating 7.5

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