Tuesday, August 26, 2008

HELLHAMMER - Demon Entrails CD Review

HELLHAMMER - Demon Entrails CD
Century Media Records

Be prepared for inconsistency when listening to these pre-CELTIC FROST repackaged and re-mastered demos from 1983. At their worst HELLHAMMER sounds like VENOM during a band practice after a twelve hour drinking binge. Yeah I'm talking so fuckin barbaric and amateurish that it'll sicken sophistication craving tech snobs, post-metal college radio losers and invading hipsters looking for kicks. Then again none of these previously mentioned individuals would be caught dead with a copy of this. I'd doubt that they'd even illegally download it. Even when I played it at work for some unsuspecting victims I just couldn't stop laughing. It was sadistic humor gone over and beyond. I wasn't just sharing my music with others. I was torturing them beyond their comprehension of pain and getting away with it. I had to take it off the stereo or I would've bust a rib from laughing. But when the boys are at their best is when you can hear that sound of urgency which makes this an essential release for all those into the extreme side of things.

The first disc is the "Satanic Rites" demo from December 1983. There's plenty of choice cuts on here to remind you of where Tom G. Warrior and Martin Eric Ain would be heading soon afterwards with CELTIC FROST. Songs like "Messiah", "The Third of the Storms", "Maniac" and the title cut "Satanic Rites" are like ancient weapons from a bygone era. Although primitive by today's standards, in their time they were deadly. Tom G. is responsible for guitar and bass (as if their was any bass playing to be heard) as well as lead vocals on the "Satanic Rites" demo with the drums provided by Bruce Day. Martin Eric Ain only gets credit for the backing vocals. Of course a year later he would be playing bass for CELTIC FROST.

The second disc consists of their "Death Friend" and "Triumph of Death" demos which were recorded in June 1983. The first thing you'll notice is that there's some actual bass being played which is credited to Steve Warrior who also shares vocals. Tom G. takes care of the guitars and vocals and Bruce Day is on the drums. There's some earlier versions of cuts that would be rerecorded on "Satanic Rites" like "Triumph of Death", "Reaper", "Maniac" and "Crucifiction". Obviously since these are the ones which Tom G. was responsible for. But there's a few hell spawned gems sung by Steve Warrior that stand out like "Blood Insanity" with it's hardcore style and "Death Fiend" which drones forth only to pick up speed at mid-length. Personally I'm more into all of these ripe versions since there's that over indulgence of bass which is bludgeoning. Plus the vocals are like raw rasps from the bowels of Hell. Who would've guessed a Swiss band could be so fucking down right evil? They're such a peaceful, neutral, non-aggressive lot.


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