These Finns have been around since 2006 and deal in a primal mix of black, death and grindcore. Every so often I listen to a band and find its extremity strangely relaxing and soporific. Violent Hammer are one such band. Unfortunately, I do not think that this is the effect they are going for. There are comparisons to be made with FETO era Napalm Death, indeed Joonas Niemelainen appears to have based his vocal styles on a rougher, throatier version of Lee Dorian and some of the riffs are straight out of that era with smatterings of crust kings Doom. What makes this such a chilled listen for me is the lack of variety, It is hard to notice where one song ends and the next begins and as such I listen to the album as one expansive wall of noise, as one would to Drone or harsh noise.
There are peaks and troughs and changes of pace but nothing that stands out for me to be able to discern “Screams of Agony” from “Death Squad” or “Bratva” from the title track. With the recent Werewolves release from down under there is the hint to a more Neanderthal wave of extreme metal and this would rub hairy shoulders with fans of such. This debut full length is 25 mins of unrelenting death/grind that isn’t going to change the world but certainly offers a welcome distraction from the chaos and death surrounding us. I reckon you could meditate to it, in fact I am off to try right now!
(6.5/10 Matt Mason)