8 Jan 2016

Second Chance - Part 1: Bombs of Hades "Atomic Temples"

Inspired by the "Giving it a second chance!" thread on the Metal Archives forum by user droneriot, who also writes at http://droneriot.blogspot.de/

Some albums just don't do it for you when you first listen to them. It can potentially ruin your enthusiasm for a band if you were really riled up over a new release. Seeing the band perform the songs live can sometimes sway you, I know it did for me when Symphony X released Iconoclast. Then there are those that don't click right away but just needs to sit for a while. Maybe even for years. There are albums that never click, usually the ones which are too different from what you'd expect.

Bombs of Hades has a pretty strong discography if you're into crusty Swedish death metal. They take heavy cues from legends like Dismember, Nihilist/Entombed and Anti Cimex. The first EP, Carnivores, was a real killer with a track like Disrespect Their Bones standing out. The debut album, Chambers of Abominations, was great and had lots of memorable tracks like Bombs of Hades and Funeral. The follow up, The Serpent's Redemption, felt like a natural successor and elaborated on their sound with lots of great new songs. It was their best material yet.

Not only that, but they achieved all this in just a few years, so I was thrilled when their third album came out, called Atomic Temples. I listened to it as soon as I got it but it just didn't sit right with me. They had opted for a more conceptual dealio, and as such the songs seemed to all be part of some greater narrative that I didn't care for or want. It wasn't as heavy-handed or catchy as Serpents, and they were definitely trying out new stuff in terms of composing. I spinned it relentlesly trying to get into it, but I couldn't really get it to click. Not even seeing them live, where they played a lot from the new record, did it for me.
I had more or less given up. Until recently I hadn't spun it since the summer of 2014. When I randomly put it on again in anticipation of their new record, Death Mask Replica which will be coming out late January 2016 through War Anthem Records, something finally clicked. I wasn't sure whether or not I should pre-order their new album because the previous one had disappointed med so, but this re-acquanting with Atomic Temples finally did it. There actually are some pretty strong compositions on there if you can get past the whole forced narrative thing. It's not like they hadn't tried it before, albeit on a smaller scale with the whole Master Builder concept of Chambers.

I still don't think it's their best album, that title befalls Serpents as far as I'm concerned, but it convinced me to give it another chance and to pre-order their next album. Essentially the whole first part of Atomic Temples is what Bombs of Hades is all about at the core, which is crusted out dirty death metal. Tracks like Fracture, The Last Gateway and Palace of Decay really do feel like classic BoH, with only the slower, more ponderous tracks like Cadaverborn and Crawling Wind really standing out.

What albums had you given up on? And what made them finally click with you? What albums do you doubt will ever click? Let us know in the comments below.

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