Sometimes, a band comes along and does something so bizarrely different that you aren’t sure how to categorise the music that they create. One of these bands is four-piece Brighton based band Birdeatsbaby. On their website, they describe themselves as 'alt-classical prog-punk'. Others could classify them as cinematic pop. Some would describe them as classical with a rock aspect. A lot of people would say that Feast of Hammers sounds like it was created by some seriously odd people. However you choose to describe the music, one thing that is undeniable is that Feast of Hammers is a very intriguing album. Birdeatsbaby might be dark and occasionally creepy, but if there’s one thing they definitely aren’t, it’s ordinary.

The album opener is a song helpfully named ‘Intro’. ‘Intro’ is thirty seconds of piano music with just enough gloominess to suggest that the entire album could be the soundtrack to a particularly depressing period drama. The track is succeeded by ‘Love Will Bring You Nothing’ which launches straight into the strong voice of lead singer Mishkin Fitzgerald, and brings the focus to the often quite morbid lyrics.

There is one song on this album that defies all the rules of simple music and is what makes this album so outstandingly, brilliantly strange. Listening to ‘Incitatus’ feels like being dragged head first into a horror film. It’s intense, fast paced and does not hold back. The song opens with a foreboding clanging like a child bashing on low piano keys which, alone, is chilling enough. If you add the ominous voice echoing stereophonically though separate headphones, it creates a track that will stop you in your tracks and make you check over your shoulder for any approaching shadows. The vocals make this song even more of a gothic masterpiece. Fitzgerald’s voice flickers between chants, shouts, whispers and unnervingly high, almost angelic notes. All of this is over an angry, constant drum beat which picks up at the end of the song.

The second half of the album is a lot calmer. ‘Through Ten Walls’ takes more of a listenable pop format and whilst there’s still a hint of darkness in the lyrics, it’s a lot less about concept and more about structure and quality. ‘Tastes Like Sympathy’ sees the album settle into a melancholy mood that’s both haunting and beautiful. With this and ‘Through Ten Walls’ you can truly appreciate the impressive vocals, not to mention some pretty theatrical violin playing.

Feast of Hammers is in no way a cheerful summer album. Neither is it background noise. Birdeatsbaby have taken the idea of being dark and weird and have gone absolutely wild with it. In fact, this album is probably the soundtrack to my five year old self’s nightmares. And, like any album, it’s not without its flaws. A lot of the songs are very similar in structure, and at times it gets tedious to listen to. Some people definitely would be put off by how dark the music is but if you can get past that, this is an album packed with a glorious overload of piano music, a lot of horror movie imagery, and tonnes of personality.