Album Review – Ragehammer / The Hammer Doctrine (2016)

Are you ready to follow the awesome doctrine of Black and Thrash Metal established by this ruthless band from Poland?

Rating4

ragehammer-cover-artwork-1000x1000Forged in the scalding fires of Cracow, Poland in 2012, and embracing all the darkness and violence spawned by icons such as Death, Bathory and Slayer, among many other Extreme Metal bands, here comes Black/Thrash Metal horde Ragehammer, tormenting the entire world with their highly anticipated debut album entitled The Hammer Doctrine. Quoting the band, the album was created “with cold hatred of the modern world and contempt for the values of love and humanity”, and just like a hammer this album will smash your face with its relentless brutality.

With controversial topics such as death, anti-religion and desecration flowing from its lyrics, and featuring a demonic artwork by Polish illustrator Robert A. von Ritter (Outre, Bloodthirst, In Twilight’s Embrace) and an outstanding graphic design by Kontamination Design (Blaze of Perdition, Bloodthirst, Voidhanger), The Hammer Doctrine offers the full package to metalheads who nurture a profound passion for sheer violence in music. In other words, Ragehammer devoted all their talent, cruelty and wrath to deliver the most hellish music you can think of during the album’s rambunctious 42 minutes.

Kicking off this insanely good havoc we have First Wave Black Metal, opening the gates of hell (hammer) with highlights to its old school darkened lyrics barked by frontman Heretik Hellstörm (“Neurodeliric screams / Battle cry of the hordes those days / No gods – no masters, creatures and crawling in space / Scarlet slaughterers, living only for metal and hell / Legacy of pride, from tombs it rises again”). Furious circle pits will ignite instantly, with the nonstop riffs by Bestial Avenger and the brutal bass lines by Corpsebutcher crushing you like a helpless insect. In case you survive this first assault, LET’S HAVE A WAR! Unleash The Dogs will bring you war in an infernal Blackened Thrash Metal turmoil, where drummer Mortar keeps up with the tradition of the most influential thrashing drummers of all time. This song proves to me that this band loves a disturbed and violent sounding more than they love their own families, don’t you think?

ragehammerIn Wróg (or “enemy” from Polish), a potent circle-pit generator and a strong sample of what this amazing band is capable of doing, the metallic bass by Corpsebutcher stands out amidst all turbulence and devastation crafted by the entire band; whereas in Warlord’s Fall, a solid fusion of old school Slayer with Hardcore, Ragehammer fire a high-octane tune where Bestial Avenger has a superb performance with his piercing riffs while Heretik Hellstörm keeps barking like a lunatic. In addition, its Doom Metal-ish break gets truly obscure and evil before the music gets back to total anarchy, adding an additional layer of intricacy to it. And bang your heads and enjoy the heavy beats by Mortar in the longest of all tracks, named Knives, highly inspired by traditional Black Metal with the punch of our good old Thrash Metal.

I am the Tyrant brings forward a brutal sonic devastation bred by those Polish metallers, I should say the perfect depiction of what Blackened Thrash Metal is, with Bestial Avenger once again commanding the band’s onrush, followed by the heaviest version of Thrash Metal you can find anywhere, entitled Pure Hatred, where Mortar shatters his drums while Corpsebutcher thumps his bass cords throughout the entire song until its pulverizing ending. Then it’s simply time to slam into the pit and enjoy the amazing synchronicity between Bestial Avenger and Corpsebutcher in what’s definitely the top moment of this great album, the high-speed anthem From Homo Sapiens to Homo Raptor, where Ragehammer make a statement about who they are and their mission (“The dawn of the hammer doctrine / The evolution of mankind / From homo sapiens to homo raptor / Constant warfare – way of life”), giving no signs of slowing down or being less visceral. And finally, they offer the listener a crazy, fast and furious cover version for Spotkanie z Diabłem, or “meeting with the devil” in Polish, by Krzysztof Klenczon i Trzy Korony. It’s incredible what they did to the original version, and the whole band deserves our respect for such a brilliant job giving a new life to an old classic.

Are you ready to follow the ruthless doctrine of Ragehammer and break your neck to the berserk music crafted by this skillful quartet from Poland? If you can’t wait to put your hands on their sonic “hammer”, go grab your copy of The Hammer Doctrine at the Pagan Records’ official BandCamp or webshop, and as I already mentioned, be prepared to have your physiognomy completely disfigured by a wicked blast of extreme music.

Best moments of the album: First Wave Black Metal, From Homo Sapiens to Homo Raptor and Spotkanie z Diabłem.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2016 Pagan Records

Track listing
1. First Wave Black Metal 4:43
2. Unleash The Dogs 3:46
3. Wróg 4:47
4. Warlord’s Fall 5:48
5. Knives 6:30
6. I am the Tyrant 5:00
7. Pure Hatred 4:22
8. From Homo Sapiens to Homo Raptor 4:33
9. Spotkanie z Diabłem (Krzysztof Klenczon i Trzy Korony cover) 2:38

Band members
Heretik Hellstörm – vocals
Bestial Avenger – guitars
Corpsebutcher – bass
Mortar – drums

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