Hammer – “Contract With Hell” (1985)

Contract With HellThis British band was previously known as Holland, releasing one album called Early Warning under that name.  A name change to Hammer followed, and the band released Contract With Hell (Ebony Records) in 1985.  This is a pretty enjoyable album of straightforward hard rock/metal in the blue-collar style of early Saxon or Demon.  Hammer also worked in a healthy dose of synthesizer embellishments, which worked to nice effect (most of the time).  Marty “The Dog” Wilkinson provided a salt of the earth vocal performance, helping propel fine slabs like Caution To The Wind to ear candy land.  Side one of the album houses the better cuts, like the bluesy metal groove storm of Try It and the radio friendly rocker Hey You.  The album’s lone departure is the eight minute finale Across The Line, a slow burning epic that leaves me hungry for more.  Recommended!  My score: B+

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