In case you missed my two previous reviews of the recent remaster campaign by Poland's Metal Mind Records covering the back catalogue of Germany's Warhammer, here's the story in a nutshell. Beginning in the mid 90's, the band which was formed by bassist / guitarist Frank "Necros II" Krynojewski, decided that they were going to follow in the footsteps and attempt to emulate their musical heroes Hellhammer, the influential thrash / speed metal band from Switzerland. Treading at times precariously close to being perceived as a cover or tribute band, despite the fact that they did indeed write their own original material, Warhammer were hell bent on replicating Hellhammer's signature lo-fi sound and unpolished attack as much as humanely possible. Did album number three, The Doom Messiah originally released in 2000 see them breaking new ground musically? Not in your life. The only change here was that guitarist Rainer Filipiak who appeared on Deathchrist was ousted, so Krynojewski took over and assumed the guitar duties as well as handling the bass.
The sound on The Doom Messiah found the band continuing their tradition of keeping things deliberately crude and lo-fi, so the aggressive unpolished attack remained the primary focus and ultimately the only appealing thing as well. Over the course of these ten tracks and three bonus songs vocalist Volker Frerich puts down his best Tom Warrior imitation, and while he does a decent job once again, his vocals do have more of a hardcore edge to them than Warrior's ever did. Also Necros' steady barrage of distorted riffage will definitely transport you back in time to the classic Apocalyptic Raids EP. Once again I have to say Warhammer did a very credible job of replicating the classic Hellhammer sound from A-Z.
I think I've softened my stance a little bit because the more time I've spent digesting these releases from their back catalogue, the more I've come to have a better appreciation for what Warhammer was trying to achieve. While one could definitely question the originality of the music on any Warhammer release, it's hard not admire them for trying to keep the original spirit of Hellhammer alive. Obviously the sounds made by Tom Warrior and his crew had to have made such a lasting impression on them to set them down this path in the first place, and that should count for something.
1) Remorseless Wargrinder
2) Shadow Of The Decapitator
3) Cries Of The Foresaken
4) Hell Is Open
5) The Cruel Transcendency
6) The Doom Messiah
7) The Serpent's Chain
8) Cold And Dying World (Part 1)
9) In Pain We'll Burn
10) The Skullcrusher
11) The Warprayer (Bonus Track)
12) The Thorn Of Damnation (Bonus Track)
13) The Rise Of The Living Dead (Bonus Track)