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Smashing the Hammer Down! - 81%

DeathRiderDoom, June 25th, 2009

Fuck yes – thrashy NWOBHM!

Evident in this early offering from these pounding metal thrashers is a heavy as anything, crashing, driving sound with tones of evil in the mix. Atomkraft are super-badass and I’m really surprised they aren’t better known. While fellow speedsters Raven, Avenger and Tank lapped up the limelight in the early/mid 80’s the similar enough sounding Atomkraft – with their badass Germanic moniker – plodded through the backstreets – and dirty alley ways, while Venom and Maiden were strutting their stuff on the most lush of boulevards. Atomkraft is basically similar to Tank, Motorhead and Avenger – but with a bit more ‘out and out’ thrash in the mix. On this early demo we have two heavy tracks – the no holds barred speedster anthem ‘Pour the Metal In’ and the mid-tempo crusher ‘Burn in Hell’.

Personally – I prefer the faster attack of the title track – which thunders through with loud, nasty bass and smashing drums. The intro is very much in Tank, Motorhead territory – even the first verse is firmly in this camp – with the vocals being delivered with that same trademark punk rock roughness, while bass roars along underneath. The drums are an absolute assault on the ears, and some shred work gives the track more thrash credentials – a fast paced axe attack. Basically this one’s like a GBH or Discharge track – with a slight hint more metal in it – due to the subject matter and technical fortitude of the players. ‘Burn in Hell’ is a nasty cruncher; slowing things down but not relenting on all-out heaviness. Drums are as loud and intrusive as possible, and the vocal attack is again nasty in that British hardcore vein of Discharge et al. Some great touches of melody come through with the guitar/vocal matching – catchy hooks! Guitar solo-ige is pretty killer too – but a bit slower than our title track. The nice slow Iron Maiden bridge section offers a great piece of emotive soft guitar, coupled with rumbling Harrisesque bass; a nice piece of melody juxtaposed with the furious heaviness of the main body. Extra points on this one for the heavy, demonic backup vocals – which weren’t too common at this time – and the excellent finishing section in general. A great wee demo if you can get your hands on it. Two Atomkraft favorites – early heaviness done well.

-DeathRiderDoom