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Warhammer: Deathchrist (remaster)

Between 1994-2002 Germany's Warhammer were completely devoted to replicating the sound and attack of underground Swiss thrash/ black metal pioneers Hellhammer. No detail was overlooked as the band, led by bassist/ guitarist Frank "Necros II" Krynojewski, went to great lengths to ensure that no stone was left unturned. Everything from the instruments used on their recordings, through to the evil, primitive looking album cover art work and graphics set out to do the real thing justice as much as possible.

Deathchrist, the bands second album originally released in 1999 contains ten tracks brimming with raw aggression. The overall sound and unpolished attack makes it feel like it was recorded circa the ealry 80's and to Warhammer's credit they do sound very close to the real thing. Guitarist Rainer Filipiak slashes & burns his way through Tom Warrior's catalogue of riffs right down to replicating the trademark bending notes and layered, distorted tone of his guitar. While Volker Frerich does a fairly credible job of replicating Warrior's signature death metal vocals, complete with screams and grunts aplenty, he doesn't always capture the emotion and passion of the real deal. In fact more often than not he comes across as sounding more like a hardcore version of Warrior. As for the songs themselves there are a few interesting moments, for example lead off track "This Graveyard Earth" sounds like an updated version of "The Third of The Storms" and one can't help but notice the uncanny similarities between "Defy The Dark" and Hellhammer's epic "Triumph of Death". The long open chords, slow death march drum beat and blood curdling scream at the songs onset is a dead giveaway.

Warhammer was meant to be a tribute to a band that almost singlehandedly created the genre of extreme music. To their credit they made no bones about what they were trying to do and they attempted to fill a pretty big gap and pick up where the mighty Hellhammer left off. Ultimately though, too much of the material here lacks any real character or really captures the spirit of the original. Even after just a few casual spins the listener will find that as a whole too much of Deathchrist sounds the same and as a result they'll find themselves quickly becoming disengaged, a feeling you'd never experience with any of Hellhammer's recordings. The Hellhammer fanatic can go either way when it comes any of Warhammer's recorded output. They can either choose to check it out for curiosity sake or choose to ignore it all together. Being somewhere in the middle myself as far as being a fan, I'd say that it's not necessary to concern yourself with the substitute unless you've got a problem with the original.

Track Listing
1) This Graveyard Earth
2) Mankind's Darkest Day
3) The Thorn Of Damnation
4) Deathchrist
5) The Capacity Of Tragic
6) Defy The Dark
7) The Demon's Breed
8) Among The Dead
9) The Tempter Of Destruction
10) The Realm Of Torment

Added: March 15th 2009
Reviewer: Ryan Sparks
Related Link: Metal Mind Productions
Hits: 2256
Language: english

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