The Prophecy Review (Velvet Thunder)

Steve Blower is a musician from Wakefield in Yorkshire with a love of heavy metal (who isn’t?) and he formed the band Hamerex in 2004 and has been the front man since 2014. He has also runs his own solo career given that Hamerex was put on pause in 2018 with his debut album Back In Hell coming out in 2019 which brings us neatly to his latest release which is The Prophecy and it actually came out late last year.

The album is something of a concept work concerning the end of the world as told by an all seeing prophet and continues on from some of the themes developed on the debut album. Just a quick check of the song titles will give you a flavour of the portentous nature of the concept with the songs relating to subjects which have been extensively covered by metal bands over the years. Blower sings, plays lead and bass guitars and has done all of the programming and he has also written all of the music as well as mixing and mastering the album and even done the artwork for the album so he has been a very busy man. Blower has a deep and sonorous voice with a frantic and strident delivery which is perfect for his doom laden lyrics.

The music is riff driven heavy metal with plenty of great solos and is another of those albums that demands maximum volume to get the best effect as you need the bass pounding and guitars screaming! Shades of NWOBHM and the usual heavyweights in Iron Maiden and Judas Priest plus some spectacular Sabbath type riffs make this a thoroughly enjoyable hard rock album. Of course, the album is a little rough and ready around the edges as it is, effectively, a home produced product but heavy metal was designed be raw and elemental and not super glossy and slick. If you are looking for a dark and deeply satisfying heavy metal album then you should certainly check this as there is much to relish and enjoy here.

It appears the CD version has now sold out but the debut album is still available as is the digital download of The Prophecy and these can be found on the Bandcamp site. Have a listen but turn it up real loud to get the full experience.

Terry Craven

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