Review by Adam Farr.
Deathhammer’s new album ‘Chained to Hell’ is a fierce and brutal thrash record. Deathhammer demonstrates pulverising, deranged vocals with high pitched screams interspersed. They show off their unrelenting pace and pure aggression in their music. ‘Chained to Hell’ brings you back to the 1980s in terms of sound, style and production; It’s easy to forget you are listening to a brand new 2018 album. Deathhammer consists of Sergeant Salsten – (Vocals, Bass, Guitars) and Sadomancer (Drums, Guitars, Backing Vocals) and they carry on the dynasty of early thrash and black metal. In the words of Darkthrone’s Fenriz, “How much primitive can you get?!”
The album kicks off with Rabid Manic Force. It is a killer opening track featuring wild, thrashing vocals and guitar riffs. This song, like most of the tracks on this album, brings to mind Kreator and Destruction. Unrelenting speed and fury fuel this song, which, as well as the aforementioned vocals and guitar playing, drive home technical basslines and battering, ear-shattering drums. The next track, Satans Hell, opens with a Judas Priest-esque drum fill. Laden with gang vocals and fast-paced, complex riffs, this track conveys a demonic sense of urgency and brutality. After the solos there is a short timing change with rapid double kick and choral vocals, finishing the track with a welcome exclamation.
Next up is Black Speed Inferno, My personal favourite, it is very black metal influenced. It immediately brought to mind Bathory. I love the well-placed cracking high vocals on this song, and the high-speed, break-neck riffs give the listener a sense of favourable anxiety. Playing this song on drums sounds like it would be the equivalent of half an hour of intense cardio on the treadmill. The next track Threshold of Doom lives up to its name, it sounds like a riot in a mental institution, with blasphemous riffs and psychotic wails. The solo section is a cantankerous crossover of thrash and NWOBHM. With speed, melody and 80’s reminiscence, this song is a true thrasher.
Tormentor pounds you with an onslaught of aggressive riffs, thumping bass lines and pummelling drums. It is a short, fast-paced, action-packed track that shows off Deathhammer’s simplicity in speed. Into the Burning Pentagram contains the only clean guitar strum on the album; Just once in the intro, which also showcases an evil toll of a bell. It is a slow paced instrumental that takes you into a different world; A Demonic world of dark guitar melodies and subtle synthesiser. The song conjures up images of Depravity, early Slayer, and the even the soundtrack to the 1993 computer game ‘DOOM’. It ends with an ominous sound effect of burning fire.
Chained to Hell – The title track brings everything you expect from Deathhammer. No frills, just thrashing demolition and accursed lyrical content. The track grinds along with inimitable drumming and guttural madness. The closing track is Evil. It shows off Deathhammer’s signature unhinged vocals, erratic guitar riffs, and bruising drums. After the skilled solo section they change the timing and execute some well-synchronised harmonies over slower paced riffs before ripping the listener a new one with a final burst of fanatic sonic disembowelment.
Overall, The listener should look no further for classic thrash metal in 2018 – This album holds first place in that regard. Their primitive speed, darkness and ferocity makes Deathhammer stand out among modern metal bands, and Chained to Hell continues their long line of excellent works in thrash.