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Despite black/thrash metal horde Ragehammer‘s Polish origins, on their debut demo release War Hawks the band presents a sound that sticks rather close to their Swedish counterparts instead.
The band blazes full speed ahead right from the opener RageHammer Rising, and one is quickly reminded of such bands as Bestial Mockery or Kult ov Azazel in their speed and intensity, and the catchiness that is abound in their brand of black/thrash metal. The riffing style of Bestial Avenger on the track even brings in some slight influence from Bathory‘s earlier works, though the band has certainly put in more groove on their works, making for a thrashin’ good time. The lead guitars are also brilliant, giving a nice old school rock and roll flavour to the songs.
Drummer Mortar’s d-beat style of drumming certainly helps in the band’s cause, providing much of the energy and helping Ragehammer sound like a blackened version of old school Swedish death metal, while Heretik Hellstorm’s spiteful vocals give it a nice aggressive and sinister edge. Clean vocals are also used sparingly throughout the release, such as on Prophet of Genocide to provide a somewhat dramatic effect, leaving a more lasting impression on the listener.
Yet not all is fast and furious as Ragehammer presents a slight slowdown on the intro of Prophet of Genocide, and moments like these bring in a slight Marduk comparison in the ominous vibe that is emanated, though this was my least favourite moment on War Hawks. That said though, for the most part the band goes at breakneck speed, making War Hawks one hell of an album to headbang or mosh to.