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Krushhammer - Speed Blacking Hell Award winner

Speed Blacking Hell
by Max Elias at 12 December 2020, 1:59 PM

KRUSHHAMMER—that’s quite a name. No subtlety required, it seems. And yet the music itself is not as uncompromisingly brutal as the name would suggest. The first song, “Under Spell” starts with an acoustic intro, and the riff that follows is a singsong tremolo-picked riff that has far too much melody in it to be truly menacing. Which is not an insult, as it is an excellent riff and the song as a whole has a very buoyant, POWER METAL (but the exciting, guitar-driven kind) feel to it. The vocals are a stark contrast. They are hoarse and growled, but if there were such a thing as an upbeat growl, this would be it.

“Speed Blacking Hell” is a new song, but it feels like a second movement of “Under Spell”—it doesn’t hurt that the two song titles rhyme, so you can imagine that at times the vocals are incredibly similar. The riffs are slightly more technical repackaging of classic SPEED METAL patterns, and the drumming is straight-ahead pounding. Though the title of the song seems to imply KRUSHHAMMER is a mix of speed ad black metal, the only thing suggesting BLACK METAL at least to me are the vocals. There are no blast beats, and though BLACK METAL loves tremolo picking, the way it is used here is to enhance the melody rather than create a nonstop sheathe of noise.

I really enjoy the uniqueness of this fusion, even if I disagree with the characterization of what’s being fused. The band has found a memorable approach to songwriting especially when it comes to the last song here, “Vomit in His Grave”. It starts with a triplet riff that sets a bouncing march that turns into a wild charge in seconds. The song also slows down its rapid guitar work to highlight it again elsewhere, like before the pull-off lick at 1:04 that reminds one of 3 INCHES OF BLOOD; another not-quite POWER METAL or MELODIC DEATH METAL enigma. KRUSHHAMMER have a good concept and a strong focus on tight song construction that make this EP feel fresh even though the band’s influences are plain.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Musicianship: 8
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

  1. Under Spell
  2. Speed Blacking Hell
  3. Deathhammer
  4. Vomit in His Grave
Alberth Germȃnio – Bass
Hellish – Drums
Nekrolucifer – Guitars
Marcel Krusher – Vocals
Record Label: Helldprod Records


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