Hammer Crime is strange and wonderful all at once. Resting at a confluence of black, thrash, punk, and groove metal, this Canadian band makes a demo that really just is an ugly brick thrown into your window. Now will I say all of this is refined and perfect? Absolutely not. Is it effective in its window smashing and ability to command attention? Yes. Look at all of this glass. From name, to sound, to just general vibe, Hammer Crime is delinquent in its behavior and probably shouldn’t be trusted around sharp objects or flammable materials.
The tags for this record are black / thrash / death / punk and to what percentage is anyone’s guess. Töxik Death care little for being balanced or even correct as the band’s second full length does more for their thesis of destruction than any previous release. Reviewing a band with a larger history is unique on this site as most bands are new or have a few releases before the one being reviewed. Töxik Death is approaching nearly 20 years of being formed and Sepulchral Demons feels like a fiery debut that is setting the stage for a whole career of madness. Sepulchral Demons sharpness the band’s focus from their earlier work and presents a future of old school heavy underground metal worship in a sound that doesn’t feel costumed rather galvanized by the the decades old quest for disorder. Come on and come all for the festival of the ruined.
Fuck yes. Even though it took me a few seconds to decide where to jump, once falling inside this record became an absolute joy. Ascended Master is an Ohio based death/thrash act that worships at the altar of the old masters while making a blistering demo that is nothing short of fun and excitement. It might be odd to describe a death/thrash demo like that but for as fierce as What Was ... And What Shall Be Again is, at the core of its existence, a desire to astound the listener with riffs and musical prowess. Ascended Master is up for this task with 25 minutes of a raucous party in the underworld that is here to shred and slash their way through listeners.
The more I spend time with this record, the more I love it. Profane Oath follows a very familar template when it comes to their approach to heavy metal. Surrendering to the style of black / thrash, Profane Oath has bought into the sounds, image, and general lifestyle of black/thrash with an EP that could make its idols blush with its dedication. This becomes apparent when looking at the cover with a guitar pretruding fromt he mouth of Christ and songs like “Possessed By Quorthon.” Unholy Hymns is not going to break any genre barriers anytime soon but for now it is a six pack and a party of a time and everyone should love being here.
The Bandcamp for this band states “We are Sepulchral voices and we’re back from the grave” but this should be taken as aesthetic rather than insinuating they are an old band. This is confusing as there is an older band named Sepulchral Voice that plays death thrash. This is not them rather Sepulchral Voices who play black/thrash at the speed of a hurricane which ravages the land. Sepulchral Voices has been around since 2016 and their album covers exude a certain aesthetic of ferocity seen in black/death bands. Evil Crusaders is relentless but not in the grinding concrete style of war metal rather thrash metal that has been possessed by the devil.
Miasma of Barbarity is a Portuguese label that puts out really gross things. Spitgrave was the first thing i found from this label and despite its odd looking logo, was two tracks of blistering death/thrash that was like a sledgehammer of riffs in a darken closet. I have put lots of question marks on this entry since I do not really know due to its primitive nature. What I do know is this swings and most certainly leaves a wound behind.
“Black Metal combining the first and second waves with some primitive thrash influence. Destroy your fucking mind.”
I love the description for this album since it is most certainly not what is advertised. Yes, the Altar of Rot debut has black, death, and thrash influences somewhere close to the second wave but it is nowhere near a primitive nature. This is okay however as what Altar of Rot really is is a party in a debut record which feels like a chair being smashed against your back. From solid riffs to decent production to an atmosphere which grants permission for costumes, Altar of Rot is less a basement band than it is a club show that would be fitting the scent of decaying meat. Ew gross.
I believe I have made my opinions on thrash known and its troublesome history past 1990. I do not think this demo from Poland is going to change any grand designs for thrash and its current history nor is it going to be the linchpin in reestablishing the genre into the underground. What Sanity Control could be, however, is fun for the listener and a wild ride with a classic that sound that cares less about throwing back or establishing a contemporary identity and wants to drink cheap alcohol out of a paper bag in a place without central heat. Thrash works at its best when not concerned with their position in the overall metal cultural totem pole. Sanity Control is honest to goodness dirtballs who only care about playing fast and fun. Lets fucking do this.
I actually have no idea what the genre is for this as the band’s Metal Archive page says black / thrash but all I hear is old school death. It doesn’t matter once you are inside a coffin and presumably suffering. Depraver is a relatively new band that has two EPs which are only serrated by 7 years of time. Suffering in a Coffin is the newest release which actually came out in January but is seeing a digital release since the original was cassette only. I enjoy we live in a world where grimy death / black / thrash is being made without my immediate knowledge. This means that when I finally do get to hear it, it is fist pounding on what I assume is the inside lid of the coffin.
Let us be entirely honest and say this is not from 2017. Back in September of 2016, 100 tapes of Under the Mark of the Devil EP were released probably to a small group of people. In 2017, the band put out the Ep again with different art to the protest of no one. Actual release dates get murky when you deal on this level and for all intents and purposes, this death/thrash release can occupy two spaces.