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Fisthammer - Devour All You See - 90%

Vooyasheck, May 10th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2012, CD, Horror Pain Gore Death Productions

First of all listening to this album it's hard to believe that it's this band's debut album. The production is astonishingly clear and technical level of this album is amazing. Hard to describe clearly the genre, it's definitely death metal, but it's a great mixture of melodic branch with a lot of technical death metal with even some bits of metalcore and many other metal subgenres, originating from US as well an in Europe.

The album is a very exciting journey through all that is good in death metal - from furious blast beats with complicated riffs, through many slow-downs, acoustic passages and masterfully executed solos to mid-tempo parts getting close to thrash metal, with even few very heavy metal-sounding riffs. The longer I listen to this album, the more catchy it is. Yes, this is one of those albums which you have to listen to few times to discover all the flavours and shades. I think this is also one of albums which are best listened from the beginning to the end in one go. I find it really hard to choose just one favourite track, because to me it works out best as a whole, especially that it's recorded with nearly no silence between tracks. The changes in pace make it really engaging and the vocals are really powerful here. I guess there is some effect applied to make the vocals sound lower at few points, but there are also quite few moments where you can hear growling and shrieks without any effects. The lyrical subjects circle mostly around war with few relations to ancient cults which works perfectly with the musical background.

It is hard for me to compare it to any other bands, because there would be too many to list. The whole album is very well produced, the musicianship is at the very high level and it will surely leave you wanting more. Nowadays it is hard to find an album, where drums work so well with rhythms played by guitars. It's one of the best debut albums I've ever heard, that's for sure.

If you're lucky enough to attend any of Master's show in your area, pay close attention to Fisthammer, who are supporting them on their tour in US. There will be definitely many occasions for heavy headbanging, especially during 'Kull The Conquerer' or 'Doom of the Gods'.

Originally posted on www.metalbite.com

Fisthammer - Devour All You See - 70%

ConorFynes, May 11th, 2012

Hailing from the death metal-loving US East Coast, Fisthammer released their debut album, 'Devour All You See', to some positive acclaim earlier in the year. Although there has been debate regarding what exactly to call the particular style of this band, it's safe to say that they fall firmly within the death metal genre. Going for a jack-of-all-trades approach with their sound, Fisthammer bring in aspects of melodic, technical, old school and modern death metal, and while there is nothing here that has not already long been part of the genre's palette, fans of modern death metal will find Fisthammer to be just what they are looking for.

Fisthammer solve a problem I have had with quite a bit of modern tech death, in that far too often, bands will emphasize complexity and playing skill over engaging melodies and grooves. Not that crossing the boundaries between these subsets of the genre is anything new, but Fisthammer really incorporates aspects of these seemingly contradictory doctrines in equal measure. Beginning with the necessary superfluous 'introduction' track, 'Devour All You See' comes roaring in with both cuffs swinging. 'Razor Waves' is an excellent manifest of what the band is about, propping headbang-worthy grooves up next to frantic guitar riffs and drum kit abuse.

'Aten: Fear The Obliteration Of Earth' showcases Fisthammer's use of the famous Oppenheimer quote; "I am become death, the destroyer of worlds." Hearing this, I reckon more than a few people hearing this will suddenly recall the ORIGIN song which uses it in much the same way, and if not ORIGIN, than one of the dozen other bands that have used it. Although musically solid both in terms of performance and composition, this does bring Fisthammer's most gaping issue to light. Although they may be defined by their versatility within death metal, nothing here feels particularly fresh to Fisthammer themselves. Even the vocals feel particularly faceless and indistinct in the slew of modern death metal. Of course, a lack of perceived originality does not keep 'Devour All You See' from kicking ass. The band is all set to conquer modern death metal, and all they need is that fresh appeal to make it happen.

Dynamic debut throwdown - 75%

autothrall, March 12th, 2012

Pennsylvania's Fisthammer is another of those modern metallic endeavors which might never rest comfortably in a single stylistic niche, but nonetheless handles just about every aspect of its sound with a professionalism well past its years of existence. Brickhouse production comparable to a lot of better known thrash and death metal outfits, loads of semi-technical riffing and a mix of influences that include brutal US death, melodic European death and a heavy handed helping of 21st century thrashing. More importantly, unlike so many bands I hear these days who seem to unconsciously ape or paraphrase their heroes to a degree that allows them to cash in on nostalgia alone, Devour All You See seems like a lot of effort was placed in its construction, and there are numerous note progressions catchy enough to prompt repeated exposures.

They prove pretty early on here that they know how to throw out a hook with the melodic, bended striations in the verse of "Razorwaves", surrounded by surgical machine gun double bass sequences and smothered in a mix of guttural and rasped vocals which hearken back to the exchanges implemented by pioneers like Carcass, Deicide and Cannibal Corpse. That said, I wasn't wholly taken by the voice, as it never feels particularly vicious or memorable enough to brand itself on your conscience, simply a structured average for the medium. That being said, Fisthammer rolls you with so many savage dynamics that you'll soon hear the growling as just another of its percussive fundamentals amidst the spiky punishment of a track like "Aten: Fear the Obliteration of Earth" or "Bullet Raped", the latter of was one of my favorites here due to its unbroken chain of driving melodies and constant emotional escalation. Not an easy feat for a band with such a precise, soulless, and mechanical grasp of rhythmic variation, or such a polished studio standard.

I do feel like there's a chunk of album in the middle where the song quality does stand above the remainder, and that begins with "Bullet Raped" and runs through "Zombocalypse". They throw so many great melodies and neck straining grooves at you through these 4-5 songs that I feel like a few of them might have been better served near the opening of the track list, but in all honesty there's not a single tune here that doesn't have at least one segment which hits you like a tire iron in the hands of an experienced thug, and the fact that they so delicately balance the brutality of the rhythm section with the beauty of the dual melodies and guitar arpeggios is itself admirable. Devour All You See does cover quite a lot of ground, an all-purpose death metal assault redolent of the recent Coldworker, German's Centaurus-A or perhaps Belgium's Emptiness, all with comparable, sleek modern sounds. This is the obvious product of many, tireless hours of work, and while it's not perfect, and likely not to everyone's taste among the recent shit storm of early 90s throwback nostalgia, the acrobatic arsenal pays off with rhythmic fervor, interesting song subjects based in horror, fiction, and mythology, and a display of near boundless potential.

-autothrall
http://www.fromthedustreturned.com