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Rotten and morbid - 72%

Felix 1666, January 8th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2000, CD, Grind Syndicate Media

Another Warhammer album means nothing else but another total worship of Hellhammer. The guys with the Watchtower, Dream Theatre or Sieges Even merchandise can leave the room, they will not miss anything. An endless stream of viscous guitar leads shapes the album and the voice of Volker Frerichs sounds like that of his Swiss role model. Of course, the archaic vehemence and the initial impulse of Hellhammer cannot be reproduced in 2000, but Warhammer do their best in order to perpetuate the typical sound of the pioneers of the musical Apocalypse.

The guitarist has found the perfect way to play different riffs without different tones. Don't ask me how, but he varies the only note he plays in a very competent manner. Therefore we can enjoy some nice lines that provide the necessary negativity, violence and repulsiveness. "The Doom Messiah" does not suffer from a conflict of objectives - its only aim is to create a destructive image. From my point of view, the album fulfils its purpose. Admittedly, the rumbling and dull sound is nothing for gourmets and drains some power from the guitars. But this is owed to the concept. Worship beats technology.

The band walks the thin line between being stupid imitators and honouring the legacy of the legend from Switzerland. Warhammer want to be taken seriously and there are not even the smallest signs of self-irony. To be honest, I like this dead serious mentality. Any form of humour has no place in the here created musical cosmos, because it is filled to the brim with morbid guitars, commanding vocals and drums that commute between very slow and up-tempo. If you take a handsaw with your right hand and you start to saw slowly through the bones of your left arm, you know the vibrations of this album, even if you have never lend an ear to it.

The greatest (and only) surprise of "The Doom Messiah" is the sacral keyboard that suddenly shows up in "The Cruel Tendency". It adds a slightly different mood for 30 seconds before it disappears again just as quickly. This intermezzo delivers almost an overdose of variation, but fortunately we are old enough to handle such shocking moments. Apart from this detail, Warhammer's rotten anthems stand shoulder to shoulder and form a monolithic block. That's great because the customer gets what the customer wants. Nobody can say that this albums falls short of expectations, for better or for worse. Due to the lack of variation, there are neither overwhelming highlights nor throwaway tracks. Thus, things are quite easy. Fans of Hellhammer can buy this album on a blind basis.

thrilling obnoxious. - 90%

caspian, March 19th, 2009

I'm sure most readers have had someone say to them "Metal's just a bunch of shouting, there's no melody, anyone can play it", or at least words to that effect. At this point the general response is to bring up a few bands that disprove that; normally by name-dropping some bands with highbrow pretensions, Agalloch, Isis or Opeth or what have you. Nothing wrong with being an apologist, but it's hardly necessary. The songs on this album consist of a German shouting over unmelodic and simple riffs that a 6 year old with cerebral palsy could play. Also, it's freaking awesome and a reminder that metal is great just the way it is, noisy, offensive and obnoxious.

Riffs are simple and repetitive; a sort of proto black feel with some punk influence in the simple, power chord riffing. Production noisy and filthy, but with a pretty decent mix job and clarity; essentially the perfect sound for this music. It's just such a simple and good style- the drums have maybe three or four different drum beats, the bass doing naught but anchoring the guitars- but it's so perfect, so addictive. A soup of primordial noise that brings various cavemen feelings to life.. It's oppressive and heavy as anything you've heard, but yet brings along this strange sense of abandonment and even joy. Honestly, I think it sounds a lot better then a certain Swiss band from the early 80's. The vocalist doesn't go "ugggh" as much as Tom G., always a plus, and while the musicians aren't going to playing in a tech death band anytime soon (not that playing in a tech death band is a good thing) unlike Hellhammer they can at least keep a decent tempo when the drummer is hammering the double kick.

Things do get a bit repetitive, perhaps (especially on the slower tracks). The simple nature of this music style is probably best suited to an EP or demo; but it's hardly a huge deal; the album's not an hour long or anything. Overall, this is a killer release. If you like polished, trigger-heavy mainstream metal, you won't enjoy this. Also, you should kill yourself. However, those looking for something that's heavy, raw, and completely awesome would be well advised to get this album.