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Not that good - 69%

Milo, December 28th, 2004

This is Angelcorpse's first offering, "Hammer of Gods". In this stage, the musicians weren't fully developed in their songwriting habilities, making this album worse than it could be.

If we compare "Hammer of Gods" with "Exterminate", we will see that the song structures are much more inferior. Most of the songs here follow a pre-determinated pattern: verse, bridge with blastbeats, chorus, solo and repeat. Sometimes, there is a break with a guitar solo and some slower sections to contrast with the predominant speed, but in fact this makes the songs very predictable and boring.

The riffs are not as interesting as those in "Exterminate". Sometimes they lack conviction, although there is some ownage here: The break at 2:46 of "Consecration" is pretty good. The riff at 0:26 of "Envenomed" is great, and it's usage as chorus makes this song very cathcy. "Black Solstice" uses the same strategy with its two first riffs. These riffs are catchy as hell. As for the solos, there's little variation. It's the same atonal stuff that Trey Azaghtoth plays in Morbid Angel. A tiny bit of melody wouldn't hurt.

John Longstreth's drumming is not nearly as intelligent as it was in "Exterminate". It's still decent, but there's little variation: fills, blasts, standard rhythms. It's really amazing how much he evolved in one year. He must have trained a lot.

This is a mixed bag. There are boring songs like "Soulflayer", "Perversion Enthroned" and "Lord of The Funeral Pyre". Those are pretty similar and don't offer anything but high speed and mediocre riffs. "Consecration", "Envenomed" and "Black Solstice" are the best songs here, with their catchy riffs and more variated tempos. The re-released version has two great covers: Possessed's "Burning in Hell" and Kreator's "Pleasure to Kill". The former is executed with much more conviction and passion than anything in this CD, although it's not that different from the original. The latter is a bit different: The standard drumming was replaced by blastbeats and the speed was decreased a bit. The results are great.

Well, this is not as good as what came after it, but there are some good songs. You might want to get it if you already know Angelcorpse, but if you are a newbie, go get "Exterminate". If you get this, get the re-release by Osmose (because of the better production and the covers).