Folk N Rock
Spotlight Track: “Hammer Down’ From Friday Dies

As a music journalist, when I hear the term, “Friday dies,” it reminds me that yes, every Friday, my day does indeed completely die. Every Friday, the calendar might declare it the end of the workweek for many, but for music journalists like myself, it’s more like the beginning of a deluge. Our inboxes overflow with a tidal wave of new releases, each vying for our attention. It’s a cool chaos, a mad scramble to stay afloat in a sea of offerings.

But amidst the frenzy, a sense of weary dread can creep in. Will anything truly stand out this week? Will I spend the next few days buried under a mountain of tracks? For those of you not in the know, Fridays is worldwide release day for music. Which is kind of the point I was making about hearing the term Friday dies.

Then, every now and again, a glimmer of hope emerges. You unearth a record that cuts through the other stuff, a hidden gem that reignites your passion for the endless exploration of albums. And it really makes your Friday worth living for, one could say. And today, funny enough, we’re going to be taking a look at a track from Wisconsin-based thrash metal outfit, Friday Dies. The project is the brainchild of Mark Friday, and today Ill be looking into the song, ‘Hammer Down.’

The track opens up with some nice little whaling guitar, a sound reminiscent of howling at the moon one could say. Then suddenly we get just a taste of some quick thundering percussion, accented by a subtle baseline that makes its way in. This initial hit, that double tap of a “bam bam,” on the drums really sets the stage for the raw power to come. We’re treated to more delicious guitar work shortly after, showcasing its dexterity and hinting at the fury about to be unleashed, followed by another percussive punch. It’s again the ‘bam bam’ like double tap.

For nearly a full minute, just shy of the 52-second mark, I got hit with some nice instrumental display. I mean, it was the perfect build up. The guitar work takes center stage, showing some nice versatility through a series of scorching riffs. The bass line throbs steadily, laying down a foundation of low-end thunder that perfectly complements the fury of the drums.

Each element locks together well, and again, it does great at building a sense of anticipation that grows with every passing second. It’s a tightly wound coil waiting to spring, a storm cloud gathering its might before unleashing its fury. And it sure does.

Now, let’s talk about those vocals – because there’s something pretty cool happening here. I absolutely loved the raw, dynamic quality the frontman brings to this track. It’s a blend of spoken-word intensity fused with moments of soaring melodic words, and it’s striking. There’s a hint of Zack de la Rocha’s signature fire in the delivery, that righteous fury that ignites the lyrics, but I emphasize this isn’t a direct comparison, simply a reference point that might you might know what I’m talking about when I mention Zack.

And those epic, almost sing-along anthemic lines that pepper the song… pure brilliance. The line, “together, together, together we’ll stand tall” – that’s the kind of rallying cry that gets fists pumping in a live setting. It’s infectious, irresistible, and it taps into that fundamental spirit of unity and shared catharsis that metal can foster.

I would not say it’s about about aggression, but there’s a genuine sense of community and shared purpose woven into the very fabric of the song. The vocals become an instrument themselves, adding another layer of emotional depth to the song. And I have to say, he imbues the lyrics with a powerful sense of conviction.

And what better way to fire up the crowd than with lyrics crafted to spark a unified response? Of course, there’s that killer solo – a must-have in any face-melting metal track that truly earns its stripes. The guitar work here deserves serious praise. It’s a masterful mix of old-school heavy metal foundations with a brutal hint of doom. Not strictly doom metal in its traditional sense, but the overall heaviness and the way the guitars descend into those brooding, drawn-out passages create a cocktail of various influences I’d say.

As for the song, “Hammer Down” emerges as a song steeped in loss and the impact it has on our perception of the world. There’s a sense of disillusionment but also a defiance, a determination to honor those lost by fighting for a greater understanding. And really, that’s the driving force behind this track. From the opening lines, there’s a sense of disillusionment with the lies we’ve been fed. Being in a world where truth is hidden, and our ancestors’ sacrifices are forgotten.

The song is a call to arms, a reminder that even in the face of darkness, we can choose to stand strong and fight for something better. The king has fallen, I think that’s where it can think back on those we’ve lost. It reinforces this sense of disintegration, but there’s a rallying cry for unity – a refusal to accept defeat. And I see this as a way, to move forward. Or rather, that is my personal take from the track.

He really taps into a deep well of ancestral strength, reminding us that a warrior spirit still runs in our blood. This is a song about resilience, about remembering those who came before, and forging ahead in their honor.

I would say that “Hammer Down” is a well-crafted metal track with killer guitar riffs and many cool moments, but it’s a defiant anthem. An anthem you can join in on. Which is why I was talking about those specific lines about together will stand tall. That would sound great from a crowd. There’s a nice blend of spoken-word delivery with melodic vocal lines, lending the song an extra layer of intensity.

The guitar work is nothing short of impressive, flawlessly hitting that solo and sludgy, doom-infused passages. But what really sets this track apart is the raw honesty in its message, a tribute to resilience and a call to honor the legacy of those who paved the way.

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