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Violent Hammer – Riders Of The Wasteland

Violent Hammer
Riders Of The Wasteland
by Gary G. Hernandez at 30 June 2020, 7:56 PM

VIOLENT HAMMER is a Death Metal band hailing from Kuusamo, Finland. After forming in 2006 they released two demos in quick succession—2006 and 2007. They disappeared for a while and reemerged with yet another demo in 2014. They then faded into the background again only to re-emerge in the middle of our recent plague with their long-awaited full-length album, “Riders Of The Wasteland.” Although it has nine tracks, it clocks out at just over 25 minutes. As you might have guessed, it is an abrupt and brutal attack.

Some bands are hard to define, weaving in and out of various subgenres, experimenting with new sounds and techniques. And while VIOLENT HAMMER is unquestionably a Death Metal band that delivers exactly what their name promises—violent and hammering music—they do explore some sonic ground that, as odd as it may seem, is refreshing. Take track one, “Death Squad,” and track two, “Annihilation (Victims Of Bomb Raid),” as examples. Both songs explode out of the gates, but right at the mid-point they switch tempo to almost Doom proportions. Neither song loses any intensity and, in fact, seem to grow in ferocity. This pattern continues throughout most of the album, with one or two exceptions like “House Of Beria” which at barely over one minute long is done before you know what hit you.

Standout tracks are “Annihilation (Victims Of Bomb Raid),” “Wasted Through Life,” title track “Riders Of The Wasteland,” and “(Trapped) In Depths.” With a dual guitar blitz, guttural vocals as deep as they are harsh, and drum kit that might actually have a battering ram in it, VIOLENT HAMMER is set to abuse the hell out unsuspecting audio systems everywhere.

VIOLENT HAMMER could have easily self-titled this album and made a significant statement about their musical approach, but they went for something a little more nuanced . . . and actually, considering the state of the world at this moment, “Riders Of The Wasteland” may be the perfect title. Just as the album cover is washed in red and black, featuring a muscle-bound primitive man bearing brute weapons and a malignant sneer, “Riders Of The Wasteland” serves up a trove of unrelenting metal fury.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Death Squad
2. Annihilation (Victims Of Bomb Raid)
3. Wasted Through Life
4. Screams Of Agony
5. Riders Of The Wasteland
6. (Trapped) In Depths
7. House Of Beria
8. Bratva
9. Prophet Of Darkness
Lauri Autioniemi – Bass
Kalle Salmivaara – Drums
Lasse Limma – Guitars
Janne Karjalainen – Guitars
Joonas Niemeläinen – Vocals
Record Label: Hells Headbangers


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Edited 23 March 2023

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