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Wishdoom - "Up the Hammers" (Demo)

Wishdoom - "Up the Hammers" Demo cover image

"Up the Hammers" track listing:

1. Makedonia, Land of Alexandros (1:10)
2. Up The Hammers (6:12)
3. Vampyre's Night (4:35)
4. Zeus (The Thunderer) (3:52)
5. Wishdoom (5:41)
6. Bathory Medley (5:34)

Reviewed by on January 10, 2009

"solid instrumentation, fitting singing, and excellent variety in their epic compositions of doom-tinged power metal, or power-tinged doom, whichever the case may be."

Citing influences such as Bathory, Manowar, Virgin Steele, Warlord, Omen, Grave Digger, Candlemass and Primordial, the Greek battle-metallers Wishdoom unleashed their debut demo EP, “Up The Hammers,” in 2008.

The demo kicks off with an epic style instrumental intro that contains elements of both doom and power metal, as their cited influences should dictate. However, upon the first notes of title track “Up The Hammers,” one cannot help but hear Matt Barlow-era Iced Earth in the vocal delivery and guitar styling. In fact, if I had to describe Wishdoom's sound succinctly, it would be a combination of Iced Earth and Candlemass. Wishdoom easily lives up to this description with solid instrumentation, fitting singing, and excellent variety in their epic compositions of doom-tinged power metal, or power-tinged doom, whichever the case may be.

The title track is the epic song of the demo. Clocking in at over six minutes, the song contains slower, power-doom parts as well as faster power metal, all the while singing of battle and war. The song flows so well that it feels epic only in style, but not length, as it's over before you know it.

“Vampyre's Night” starts much more up-tempo, but reverts to a slower semi-acoustic sound less than two minutes into the song, only to pick up the pace for the climax once again. “Zeus (The Thunderer),” which tells a story of the Greek god of thunder, starts off more folky, but picks up a heavier mid-paced flow before long. Shortly after the halfway mark the song picks up the tempo a little more before going off on an extended guitar solo and finally returning to the folky slow part that began the song.

The nearly six minute predominantly instrumental song “Wishdoom” shows that this trio can easily hold their own musically. While remaining down-tempo to mid-paced, this song never gets tiring before it’s finally over.

The final song and bonus track on this EP is a five-and-a-half-minute Bathory medley. While many parts of the original songs can be heard, Wishdoom turns this track into their own song and it fits quite well with the rest of the demo.

While the production is a little muddy at times, “Up The Hammers” is as good as demos get and a great introduction to Wishdoom. Having listened to this demo it countless times, I'm thoroughly excited to hear more original material and a full length album from this band. As a trio without a permanent vocalist, I can only hope that the band solidifies its lineup with permanent members, preferably including guest vocalist Christos Paschalis as a permanent member.

Highs: The title track stands above the rest of the album, but the complete package and delivery is excellent.

Lows: Less than a half hour of material only leaves you wanting more.

Bottom line: Highly recommended for fans of Iced Earth, Candlemass, battle metal, and mid-paced power metal.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)