Lucifers Hammer where a band from Michigan that played an atmospheric form of black/death metal and this is a review of their 1997 album "Mists of Time" which was re-issued by Destro Records in 2014 and also contains their 1992 demo "The Burning Church".
Wind and thunder sounds start off the album along with some acoustic guitars and synths along with some female vocals and after the intro the music goes for a more fast and raw black metal sound along with blast beats and grim screams before slowing down a bit and adding in keyboards while also keeping around the faster parts.
The band start bringing in a great amount of death and doom metal influences and mix them in with their black metal sound and when they add in solos and leads they enhance the primitive black/death metal elements of the recording, as the album progresses acoustic guitars and female vocals return in certain sections of the recording while the band mostly stick a heavier and atmospheric direction along with the keyboards bringing in a feeling of an old horror movie.
As the album progresses Gregorian chants are added onto one of the tracks and the guitar riffing starts utilizing more thrash elements and melody in the heavier and darker sections of the guitar riffing and a great amount of the songs are very long and epic in length and they also bring in a small amount of spoken word ritualistic parts on some of the later tracks, and the band also adds more classical music elements into the acoustic guitars, once the album goes into the 1992 demo tracks the music really starts going for the raw black/death metal sound of that time and the songs have a different style production than the tracks that where presented on the full length.
On the demo tracks the mostly shows the beginnings of second wave black metal but with some of the death metal influences which where more common in the United States black metal bands of the era, and the band had a sound back then that was very underrated while also utilizing the dark horror film style keyboards in the heavy and evil approach to black/death metal and the bass guitars also bring a very powerful sound to the music.
Lucifers Hammer show they where a very underrated band for their time with their music being among some of the earliest black metal of the United States and while some of the other bands of the time end up becoming known, this band somehow got forgotten about and remain obscure, the production on the album is powerful while the demo tracks have a rawer sound and th e lyrics cover evil, occult and mysticism themes.
In my opinion Lucifers Hammer where a very great sounding underrated atmospheric black/death metal band and if you are a fan of this musical genre, you should check out this album. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Woodland Realm" "Ethereal Sea of Forever" "Enter the Eternal Fire" and "Eternally Doomed". 8/5 out of 10.