Gone, but not forgotten.

-- Sludgehammer --

Stijn Daneels

Album genres:
Melodic death metal
Groove metal
Album artists:
Josh Stephney Vocals
Jeff Wilson Guitar
Tyler Williams Guitar
Dan Ayers Bass
Fernando Villalobos Drums

Review written by Glenn “Terra Shredder” Van Bockstaele.

Sludgehammer was a Canadian groove metal band with death metal influences. Indeed, I say was, since Sludgehammer disbanded in October 2019. I was not aware of their split-up while preparing this review and I don’t like wasting any shredding, so here it goes!

Their final album “Antechamber,” is released independently and sent to us by Asher Media Relations. It succeeds their 2016 debut album “The Fallen Sun.” The album kicks off greatly with the epic opening “No Control,” featuring a mix of great guttural vocals and high soaring cleans along with blast beats and melodic guitar riffs, all going back and forth. And that’s Sludgehammer’s style in a nutshell. “Broken Sea” is a solid track whose main ingredients are the duet between the clean and harsh vocals and the excellent guitar work in the middle part.

The album continues with “Climatic Death,” a groovy track with plenty of melodic interludes and another variety of solid vocals. A standout track on this release is “Forsaken Souls,” a badass neck breaker tune with furious groove metal beats. “Balance of Life” is a true speedster of a track with a catchy chorus. “The Long Road” features a sweet balance with blast beats and harsh riffs and melodic cool downs. “Eternal Darkness” opens up with a grinding riff quickly backed up by a sweet guitar solo and then the song gallops along nicely. “Supernova Silhouette” features all the typical Sludgehammer ingredients extended to an 8-minute track with some acoustic guitar sections and finally “Line ‘Em Up” offers one final sweet groove metal jam before the release ends.

With the exception of some excellent tracks like “No Control,” “Climatic Death” and “Forsaken Souls” the rest of the album is a little bit disappointing. The other songs on the album are solid but it feels like a being there, done that job. While offering nothing new under the sun, Sludgehammer’s final album is a solid release for those looking for some melodic death metal spiced with groove and progressive metal. “No Control” required!