Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Beastly - 88%

Felix 1666, February 10th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2018, CD, Hells Headbangers Records

I am 50 years old (f**k), but I have never seen a cheaper artwork and, adding insult to injury, the overall impression of the package is absolutely miserable. It's usually irrelevant, but a completely white insert page just sucks. Black thrash metal must deliver a proper dose of dirt instead of virginal white. But okay, this is the only innocent detail that "Chained to Hell" holds. Hell's Headbangers is not known for lukewarm or flattering publications and the two Norwegians with the aura of confusingly living corpses love to throw with filth consistently until everything and everyone is covered with mud. Isn't it fantastic to become witness of this kind of hyperactivity? Rasping guitars create malicious riffs, the drum kit will sue the duo due to bodily injury and the vocal cords have been ready for scrapping after the recordings. No wonder that the so-called lead singer needed a break - "Into the Burning Pentagram" enriches the rare species of black thrash instrumentals. It covers the entire range from a nearly cautious intro over Maiden-esque lines to eerie riffs which have been stolen from King Diamond's drawer with the label "too heavy" (and the King still believes that it was a ghost who took it...) A very good piece, but with regard to its quite atmospheric undertone no representative track.

The typical songs on "Chained to Hell" convey pure energy, aggression and ruthlessness. Useless intros or intermezzos do not appear. Deathhammer prefer a compact full-length with a playtime of less than 32 minutes. The here presented inferno does not offer an exit, the listener is more or less condemned to hear this superbly flowing album from the beginning to the end. That's great, because Deathhammer still make music, not just pure noise. This means they intersperse a sufficient number of weird and devilish melodies without affecting the harsh overall picture. Furthermore, they present a very direct approach, but the song structures are not primitive. Of course, black thrash has never been the sonic status symbol for academic eggheads and "Chained to Hell" does not intend to change this situation. Nevertheless, one finds a lot of ideas in each and every song, tempo changes as well as a relatively big number of riffs. Even the solos make sense and avoid pure noise, just listen to that of "Threshold of Doom". Black thrash may be the natural enemy of maturity, but sometimes the inevitably growing experience of the protagonists is not at the expense of their juvenile recklessness and exactly that's the trump card of the fourth full-length of the Scandinavians. They do not offer "Barbaric Onslaughts" anymore, but their vehemence is still impressive. Those of you who love Norwegian black thrash, combos like Condor, Aura Noir or Nekromantheon, cannot go wrong when it comes to the here reviewed work. Especially an album like "Rise, Vulcan Spectre" seems to be a very close relative of "Chained to Hell". However, I think Deathhammer are one step ahead in terms of quality.

The eight harbingers of hell have no unique characteristics, but honestly speaking, this is what I like. I don't want to listen to songs that are diluted by "individual" components of self-reflective artists or self-declared musical cross-border commuters. The day Anthrax began to mix thrash metal with different and completely useless styles still has a traumatic effect on me. I like black metal for what it was meant to be, I enjoy thrash metal in its pure form and it is only logical that I don't want to be surprised by a mix of black thrash and philosophical, progressive or moralizing elements. I want to feel the characteristic fury, misanthropy and dynamic of the bastard genre and Deathhammer do not hesitate to offer exactly these features. So put on your old, stinky leather jacket, ignore the fact that you have lost your last hair ten years ago and bang your head. Maybe you are able to identify highlights on this beastly work, I have failed in this respect. In my humble opinion, every song hits the mark and even though the snare sound very dull, the album is aptly produced. With that said, it comes as no surprise that "Chained to Hell" cements the reputation of Norway as one of the most fertile countries in terms of black thrash. Hell's Headbangers decision to sign Deathhammer was a very good one, but please stop releasing CDs with a white insert page.