After giving Hammerhands a listen, I can say that Hammerhands is the appropriate name for this band. They can’t be called anything other than Hammerhands and if they were it wouldn’t match up with the heavy that these guys bring. Stylistically they play in the vein of doom but add so much more to it that from song to song and even within the same song you have no idea what sounds await you directly around the corner. Hammerhands integrate sludge, noise, rock and other genres to create a sound that is as heavy as a supermassive black hole. Largo Forte is the name of their newest offering and within this release you get crushed by nine devastatingly heavy songs.
Hammerhands have a knack for switching their sound on you without any warning as they go from doom to sludge and add a little bit of noise with many other sounds in between and what you get is a heavy dosage of metal that you may not have been prepared for. In one song Hammerhands may be shoveling heaps of bone crushing doom on you and in the next song you may be getting bombarded by a more up tempo rocking wall of noise. More often than not though, Hammerhands mixes everything that they can into every song to give you plenty of variety keeping you on your toes as you don’t know what is about to hit you next.
These Mississauga, Ontario natives bring a whole new level of heavy to the table. Largo Forte is sickeningly heavy and Hammerhands is entirely unapologetic about it. The only real break you get is about half way into the listen you get a song titled Mezzo Grave that is odd and harsh noises, but even that has a sharp edge and terrifyingly heavy sound to it. I don’t believe that Hammerhands can go without being as heavy as they are. Largo Forte is terrifyingly heavy and eventually you end up crumbling under the sheer weight of the album as your bones get ground into pure dust.
The sound that Hammerhands gives off is massive and really that is even an understatement. As you are listening to the album you feel as though they are right in your living room about to annihilate you and everything in your immediate area. The glacial way in which Hammerhands plays their doom combined with the massively down tuned riffs creates a sound that is earth shattering and head splitting. All throughout Largo Forte you can feel each and every note that is played and you can feel the weight of the album bearing down upon you until you are buried six feet under.
No matter what style musically you get from Hammerhands you know that it is going to be heavy. Hammerhands does a great job of incorporating plenty of sounds and genres into their style of play to keep you interested and following along for the entirety of their release and never once with all of the elements that they sew in does their music sound clouded or muddied. Everything works together in sinister harmony to create a sound that ultimately came to be Largo Forte.
Massive riffs combined with massive bass lines, acrobatic drumming and a heavy and harsh vocal delivery you get something that you just can’t peel yourself away from. Other than just the heavy, you get plenty of atmosphere as well that sucks you in and has you stay for a while as your brain and ear drums get pelted with fuzzed out metal. However, with all of the heavy dirges of doom and sludge, Hammerhands does throw in some unique songs that immediately grab your attention. High Plains and The Hardest Thing are the two songs that stick out on this record that give you something more than just heaps of snarling doom.
High Plains and The Hardest Thing give you more of a rock vibe to them without sacrificing any of the heavy that came before them. High Plains gives off more of that romping mid tempo feeling than The Hardest Thing does. The Hardest Thing is a slower tempo song compared to High Plains but each song has relatively the same unique delivery. The vocals instead of being a throat shredding scream and low and slow and are delivered with a growl almost. These two songs set themselves apart from the rest of the group in this record and provide you with a reprieve from the massively heavy doom and sludge songs that came before it them, and even then these two songs are still incredibly heavy.
Through and through, Largo Forte is heavy and nearly buzzes your brain straight out of your skull. Largo Forte is a record that that can be listened to over and over again without it wearing out. There is a ton of material packed within these nine songs that this record demands numerous listens. Largo Forte is highly memorable and is a record that should be on everyone’s radar.