formed in 1991 from Cleveland, Ohio, and momentarily split up years later before re-grouping in 2001. They are currently signed to Relapse Records (Dying Fetus
, Toxic Holocaust
), and their label debut would be their sixth full-length in their roster called "Hammer
of the Witch" released in early 2014.
This is an album that seems to blur the line between genres such as thrash metal, hardcore, and a bit of punk, right down to the musicianship itself. Both
the vocals and the instruments have a lot of liveliness under their belts, and they deserve a lot of credit. Singer James "Human
Furnace" Bulloch definitely lives up to that title, with fire-breathing screams and shrieks that have a lot of force to them. The guitars show little mercy in delivering their pummeling riffs, and the drums sound just as abrasive. The instrumentation seeks to crush everything in its path, and crush it does.
The production adds more to the chaos. Courtesy of Ben Schigel, who did similar work for records by Chimaira
and Straight Line Stitch
, the mixing and recording gives the music even more of a raw edge. It gives off a lot of the drive, power, and thickness that makes the band's thrash-like sound even more deadly and explosive, and the music becomes that much more effective.
So on one hand, "Hammer
of the Witch" sounds great. The speed and dark, negative ferocity of the musicianship are further enhanced with the undeniably punchy mixing, and it definitely hits home to hardcore and even thrash metal fans. On the other hand, however, the album's problem is that it's quite repetitive. While there are variations here and there, especially with "Exit Life
" and "Psychic Vampire
," the album mainly consists of pure fast-paced and raw metal, and after a while, its power and impact really start to wear thin.
that, though, this album does still have some bite to it that fans of violent metal will enjoy. The music coalesces the velocity of old-school thrash with the heaviness and unfiltered brutality of more modern hardcore. It creates a sound that can appeal to both worlds very seamlessly, giving it a large crowd appeal. The blend has a lot of destructive energy and strength to it, and it mostly comes from the great instrumentation and mixing.
of the Witch" is an overall solid album. It could have been an unfathomable juggernaut of musical violence if the songs had more variety and dynamic, but for what was given, it still holds up quite well. The music's rich sound brought on by both the extremely potent musicianship and production is a joy to listen to. It's a good record if you're in the mood for totally unrelenting and tumultuous metal, as it definitely lives up to that style, for better or for worse.
Originally posted on: http://metaljerky.blogspot.com/