no denying the cult rep of these guys. Having started out in the very
early 80's and never really calling it quits despite a less than meager
list of releases, you have to give them some cred for staying true to
form through the many years. Hell, they even made a co-op album with US
cult band MENTORS in '99 under the MENTORHAWK moniker and if that isn't
proof of utter koolness I don't know what. Since I like to think that
Metal is the last genre on earth that could get by on 'cool' alone I can't
really end this review here, so let's hear what these guys were all about...
Even with such a pounding, catchy opener as "Discovery" I couldn't
help being just a wee bit disappointed after my first listen. I've got
a soft spot for MOTÖRHEAD-worshipping Metal, and while Bruyns mimics
the vocals down to the last creek of Lemmy's iron jaws I still find the
music a bit too amateurish compared to contemporary masters like KILLER(Bel),
VULCAIN or DUM DUM BULLET.
After a couple of rounds on the stereo it's however clear that "Breaks
Loose" is a grower, mainly thanx to the less motörheady NWOBHM-like
parts, like the great melancholic chorus of "One By One" and
tasty guitar harmonies in the instrumental "Chinatown Braindamage"
and on the superb bonus track "White Hot Steel" from their '82
debut demo HAMMERHAWK truly shows they could swing the classic Heavy Metal
power chord if not with great musical skill so at least with great spirit.
As for the last 2 bonus tracks I must confess this is the only later recordings
by the band I've ever gotten a chance to give a proper listen to. Live
track "Run For Your Freedom" sound like a natural, metalized
progression from the EP and demo material and by 1991, when the closing
number "Steel" was recorded for a local compilation album, HAMMERHAWK
had clearly profiled themselves as a solid, raw Power Metal/Hard Rock
force to be reckoned with.
The only half-serious criticism I can come come up with concerning this
release is that the CD format would have allowed more bonus material.
From a band with a career this long there surely must be more recordings
on the shelves just waiting to be dusted off.
Listen to this record here.
(provided by the Vibrations
Of Doom webzine)