Album Review By Adam McCann
Independent Release/Groove Metal
Sludgehammer have only been together for a short length of time, but during this period, the band have released a solid EP and debut album. Yet, now the debut album is out of the way, the pressure mounts for Sludgehammer to follow it up successfully with the release of their sophomore album ‘Antechamber’.
With ‘Antechamber’, Sludgehammer have taken everything that they have learned and delivered an album which is extremely enjoyable. As an album, ‘Antechamber’ is packed full of explosive guitar riffs and some mean shredding that has all the appeal of Pantera and it would be hard to not see Dimebag nodding in appreciation at the guitar solo in ‘Climatic Death’. Yet, this isn’t some blatant attempt at 90’s nostalgia, the harsh vocals of Josh Stephney have enough here to interest Lamb of God, Orbit Culture, Cast The Stone or even Dethklok fans. ‘Antechamber’ delivers an interesting album, full of decent riffs through an accessible production and it is through this production which makes this album so listenable. Tracks such as ‘The Long Road’, ‘No Control’ and the drink until you puke good time anthem ‘Line ‘Em Up’ all give ‘Antechamber’ a huge set of balls with even the eight and a half minute epic of ‘Supernova Silhouette’ showing that this band is capable of writing lengthy songs without the fear of becoming dull or stagnant.
It is easy to pick ‘Antechamber’ up and think of Sludgehammer as just another groove metal band, but that assumption is very wrong, this album will pull the listener in and before too long it will become a staple of the playlist with a groove metal swagger that is often attempted, but very rarely mastered and Sludgehammer are doing a pretty good job right here.
Rating : 80/100
MHF Magazine/Adam McCann