Gears of War shredded. Seriously, the Xbox 360 franchise’s trademark weapon was an assault rifle loaded with a flesh-tearing chainsaw bayonet. The bloody kills it produced made it even more metal-adjacent than fellow Microsoft property Halo. Given that Shadow of Intent already took lyrical inspiration from Master Chief and co., it was only a matter of time until someone plundered the memories of Marcus Fenix. Hammer of Dawn are that band.
Musically, the slightly symphonic, shredding style ain’t that far off from those peers. Hammer of Dawn perform technical death metal under a sky blackened by Reavers. A slight core inclination peaks through, but this definitely steers closer to the death side of the equation.
The band’s prowess makes sense, as Hammer of Dawn count members of Aborted, Hideous Divinity and Krosis amongst their ranks. Lead single “Fleshless” is a higher concept look of the Locust Horde. Other songs from six-track EP Ketor dive deeper into the lore, with help from Aborted’s Sven de Caluwé and Hideous Divinity’s Enrico H. Di Lorenzo.
Concept mastermind and vocalist Mac Smith spoke of the project, birthed of a childhood video game love.
“‘Fleshless’ was our first production as a band, so it was the obvious choice for our introduction to the masses. We matched our thematic direction with musical intensity and really enjoyed the challenge of doing so. Its huge atmosphere is packed with crushing riffs, over-the-top vocals and blast beats. We feel it’s a proper tribute to Gears of War and encompasses everything we love about music.”