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Few thrash CDs can be truly labelled as "brutal". Among these, we have the classics we all know and love: The "Unholy Trinity" (Darkness Descends, Pleasure to Kill and Reign in Blood), the latest Torture Squad CD (it doesn't matter if it's not from 1986, it's just a freaking brutal slice of death/thrash) and this forgotten gem. Yes, Demolition Hammer is not as appreciated as the more well-known bands, but I can assure you this CD does give the classics a run for their money.
This is some brutal stuff. As someone said in some review (I can't remember which), it's brutal, not "br00tul". All of the instruments rage, except by the bass virtually inaudible, except for some little fills here and there. The drumming is very precise and mostly fast, except for one track, and the vocals complete the sense of destruction of the songs (if you didn't notice, this CD is called "Epidemic of Violence")
It does make justice to its title. The rhythm guitarwork is godlike. Lots of variation on the riffing style, whose speed ranges from medium ("Orgy of Destruction"'s first riffs, for example) to really mother****ing fast (at 2:09 from "Omnivore"). There is also some palm muting scattered all around and even some death metal styled riffs, not exactly like Vader's morbid tone (the first track of their "Reign Forever World" EP), but listen to the riff at 4:23, from the third track and then let's talk. The lead guitar is also very efficient. The soloing is classic thrash, very fast and sometimes melodic. "Pyroclastic Annihilation" 's (third song) solo is worthy of note, it's nailed very well, and damn cool to listen to, and this is what matters. There are other great solos all around, like that one from the title track.
The drumming. I LOVE this guy. You will notice the huge variety of drum patterns used. He also can play fast. Go listen to 1:26 at the sixth track. That was almost 260 bpm! His speed is mostly fast, but he also slows down on the occasion, adding double bass strings, to create the "bludgeoning" feel. There is no blasting here. Did I mention he has lots of drum patterns?
The vocals are good too. The voice here is throaty, but perfectly intelligible. Sometimes, there are also good vocal lines and choruses ("Aborticide" and the title track), and it sounds very aggressive.
In a way or another, all of the songs are memorable. The songwriting is not linear "verse-chorus-verse-solo-chorus x 10" style. There are lots of time changes (Pyroclastic Annihilation), great breaks (Envenomed) and catchiness (Epidemic of Violence, my favorite song here) to make things even better. Almost all songs are played at breakneck speed, except by the fifth one, "Carnivorous Obssession". The song is mostly midpaced (although at 1:26 it goes almost Darkness Descends speeed, for short time), getting a bit faster by the end. Each song has numberless riffs, but if you really want me to point out highlights, I'd choose "Pyroclastic Annihilation", "Skull Fracturing Nightmare" (heh, great song title) and of course, the over catchy title track.
Go find this one now. If you like thrash, you will love it from the first listen, and won't be shy about mentioning it among the likes of Pleasure to Kill.