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Hellhammer were always a band that appealed to me. I like the idea that a group of bored teens who can barely play their instruments can make an album with the idea of 'being more evil then Venom', and come out with a cult classic. The good thing about this band is that while they are quite bad on their instruments, the songs are actually quite good.
Hellhammer play a pretty cool kind of metal. It's almost punky, it's quite sludgey, and there's some big riffs to be found here. The Third of the Storms kicks things off really nicely. It's fast, got a huge punk feel and has some truely awesome riffing. It's incredibly sloppy... It's quite funny to here the whole band slow down for the chorus, so the drummer can keep up with the double kick, but that makes it all the more endearing to the listener.
Yeah, this is really good! Massacra keeps up the same feel, and there's some huge riffs here. Twenty years or so later, this is still a real unique band. Maybe it's because I haven't heard any Venom, but this sounds pretty original to me, and with the possible exception of Bathory, I don't know any other bands that sound similar.
While the first two songs are indeed entertaining, it's Triumph of Death that's the real out of the box song here. The intro is quite droney and doomy, and while the whole "Im Dyinggggggg" vocals from Tom sound kind of weak, it's still a somewhat freaky and evil start to a song. This song is a masterpiece, simply put, and it's a great example of minimalist, repetitive songwriting that just completely owns you. The relentless tempo and the funeral march of the drums combine to create a truly trance inducing experience. It's really quite astonishing when you realise that this song was made back in '84.. Imagine how intense it would've been back then. It's some quite out of time guitars in places, but that makes it all the more awesome.
We finish with a track that's quite similar to the first two. More punk feel, more big sludgey riffs. Admittedly, the riffs in these songs sound quite similar, particularly the chorus parts, but that's cool. It's still an awesome track that the whole family can enjoy.
This albums been a real pleasant surprise for me. I was expecting sloppily played proto black/thrash stuff, and that's what I got, but it's so damn good! The riffs are massive, and while the vocals do get a bit annoying, they still own. While I wouldn't say this is essential, I would say that it's terrificly entertaining and that most metalheads will thoroughly enjoy this.