Onward To The Pits
posted on 4/2012 By:
Only in metal could one find themselves exposed to more than one "deathhammer" in a single year. On second thought, we're a community that's generally obsessed with hammers, so maybe that's not such a crazy notion. War hammers, Hell hammers, misfortunate hammers, hordes of hammers, falling hammers, signs of hammers, Thor's hammer, hammers-hammers-HAMMERS! It's hammertime 8 hours a day up in this club, with the remaining 16 hours dutifully devoted to witches.
Anyway, in an effort to quickly extinguish any premature notions that these Norwegians somehow managed to quickly pluck their moniker from the 2012 Asphyx record of the same name, understand that Deathhammer has thrashed about for the better part of the last seven years, and they have a pile of demos, comps, two full-lengths and the Dennis Dread nod on Darkthrone's F.O.A.D. to substantiate the case.
The two riffraffs who make up Deathhammer (affectionately christened Sergeant Salsten and Sadomancer) play a brand of metal they refer to as "deathrash," which, depending on how you read it, means you're either destined for an evening spent with a case of Lanacane Maximum Strength, or windmilling the hell out of your neck. The proper choice is quickly revealed the moment Onward to the Pits begins, however; this is rotten, knuckle-dragging black/death thrash reminiscent of the early works of Sadistik Exekution and mid-80s level Sodom and Destruction. In short, it's crude, gloriously straightforward and well-suited for any listener who also counts the likes of Power from Hell (BRA), Skull (COL) or even Midnight (with less-proficient lead-work) as current favorites.
The band doesn't really bother with anything beyond pedal-to-the-floor rawness, so the only brief respite offered by Onward to the Pits occurs during the slightly more mid-tempo antics at the heart of "Army of Death," and at the onset of "Emperor of Sin" and "Seduced by the Flames." The rest of the fare is time spent hacking through trashy thrash and a handful of numbers that up the sleazy Venom vibe, like "Voodoo Rites," "Fullmoon Sorcery" and "To the Evil." It's a formula that works well within the relatively limiting confines of this particular sub-genre, and the overall mood is definitely intensified by Sergeant Salsten's unquestionable nod to Schmier in the rasps that accompany every cut, save for the instrumental closing self-titled track.
It's far from rocket science, folks: If you like the idea of an ancient gutter thrash buzz that hits the bloodstream quicker than a Jack Daniel's whiskey bong, you'll probably want to give Deathhammer some attention. Onward to the Pits ain't likely to lop off your head with its innovativeness, but it'll do the trick if you actively seek out tags such as rude, crude and lewd.
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