These Norwegian’s took my breath away a while back when they performed at the first Live Evil festival in London. Yes ok, it can be said that they first shot into the limelight living off a Fenriz (Darkthrone) band of the week recommendation (and their logo appears on the said bands ‘F.O.A.D.’ artwork), but in reality, now Deathhammer are established, they do not need that sort of promotion. Their old school thrash and speed metal really hits the mark, without following modern trends or jumping on big commercial bandwagons. So what do Deathhammer offer? If you liked albums like ‘Hell Awaits’ and ‘Persecution Mania’ in the 80’s, then this is what you get. Tantric, fast, punishing, are all relevant words to describe such an album. As I have personally witnessed, these guys command a massive pit at a live show, you can hear why on this album and through songs like ‘To the Evil’.
With some of Salsten’s vocals, I am remind of that aforementioned Slayer album, the high pitched screams are unholy, they tear through your hearing range and they deliver a massive stroke of energy within each track that they are executed. The music is basic, but it is effective. The solos, they are fast, they have intricacy, they have impact. This is the general feeling I have with this album, impact. It is really a band shoving their music right in front of your nose and asking if you have the balls to accept this musical legacy, well hell yeah. The only thing I do pick up is an apparent difference in recording volume on some of the tracks to each other, maybe it’s just me, I am not sure now that I have said this, oh well, it does not really matter when you listen to the speed of opener ‘Deaththrashing Sacrifice’ compared to the relatively slower paced (for Deathhammer that is) and proceeding ‘Voodoo Rites’. Take a moment to reflect, you better be smiling, if you are not, perhaps ‘Emperor of Sin’ will float your boat. On this, the Church bells toll, atmospherics build, you think you’re for an epic track, ha, no frigging way, you are back to the full throttle end of thrash made famous in Germany and South America all those years ago by the time the track kicks into gear.
Along with bands like Antichrist, Vulcano, Nocturnal (Deu) and Nekromantheon, Deathhammer are a full thrashing, building destroying monster. If you like your music fast, raw and aggressive, this is for you, this makes me feel like a kid again, this is excellent.
(8/10 Paul Maddison)