Observant readers may have noticed that MonkHammer has been pretty quiet of late. Sadly the end is nigh for various reasons, but there’s still time for a couple more posts before the fat lady sings.
Three years ago, we reviewed Helhorse’s eponymous third album.
Three months ago, the Danes announced their fourth, Hydra.
Shortly after, they challenged us to “crayonify” that one too.
Then they revealed the artwork.
The rather intricate artwork.
Yeah, thanks for that.
So here we are. The challenge has been accepted, the crayons have been warmed up, and it turns out I still have less artistic talent than an Ed Sheeran tribute act. Seriously, you’d get better results feeding the crayons to a cat and then pressing the canvas down on its litter [Ed’s note: Little known fact, this is exactly how Ed wrote his hit single Lego Shithouse]
After taking the time to destroy the artwork, it would be remiss not to at least mention the album itself too, especially since it’s such a beast. Continuing the trend of 2016’s eponymous album, which quelled the hardcore urges of old in favour of getting toked to the tits, Hydra is absolutely stacked to the gills with thick, fat stoner riffs, delivered with a dense sludge crunch and a hard rock, hard rockabilly heart that makes it swing harder than a hippo in a hammock. Equal parts swagger and danger, the albums lunges at you like a grinning drunk with a broken bottle in one hand and a copy of West Side Story in the other, forcing the best bits of Clutch, Volbeat, Black Label Society and High on Fire through a crusty punk filter. Having finally realised exactly what it is that makes Helhorse work, Hydra sees the band capitalise on their strengths to deliver a grunting, crooning behemoth of anthemic hard rock glory.
Hydra is out now