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Witches Hammer – Damnation Is My Salvation Award winner

Witches Hammer
Damnation Is My Salvation
by William Travers at 02 June 2020, 2:06 AM

Canada and Thrash/Speed Metal aren’t always things that are associated with one another… Enter stage left WITCHES HAMMER. Originally formed in 1985 the five-piece outfit have returned with a fairly fresh-looking line up after a near 28-year hiatus to bring us a new sound and a full-length album release. Let’s get started.

The artwork is typical stylistically of the genre with an object crashing into the earth embossed with both the band and albums name.

Opening with “Across Azeroth” we instantly get the Speed Metal feel, however, I would say that musically there is a much more Death Metal style to the music. The relentless and aggressive screams of Rayy are accented by wonderful guitar runs. The off-beat rhythm employed by drummer Steve Shaw creates an aura of chaos throughout the track.

Next, I would bring your attention to the titular track of the album, “Damnation Is My Salvation”. Slowing the pace through the introduction before returning with the same energy and enthusiasm seen so far whilst taking breaks periodically throughout. This adds layer and depth to the music with each member getting the opportunity to show their own skill and ability with their instrument.

“Witches Hammer” takes a small while to build into the main body. But again, it fast paced, energetic and thoroughly enjoyable. With the sublime guitar runs and breaks that have become a staple part of each songs structure so far.

Finally, “Nine Pillars” has a more deliberate introduction which to me demonstrates a deeper understanding and ability, it goes to show that WITCHES HAMMER has more to their arsenal than just blast beats and heavy fast riffs. With the majority of the track having the feel of an army marching forwards to a steady and deliberate pace, interspersed with the relentless energy that have become associated with the band.

Overall, this was a thoroughly enjoyable album to listen to and I would recommend it to all. My only one gripe would be I felt as though the production was lacking slightly, I just felt it needed to be slightly clearer, see what you think, I’d like to know your thoughts. With Speed Metal making somewhat of a resurgence throughout the scene I would not be surprised to see WITCHES HAMMER see a run of success.

Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Across Azeroth
2. Solar Winds
3. Damnation Is My Salvation
4. Within The Halls
5. Frozen God
6. Witches Hammer
7. Deadly Mantis
8. Nine Pillars
Rayy Crude – Vocals
Marco Banco – Guitar
Jesse James Jardine – Guitar
AJ Kovar – Bass
Steve Shaw – Drums
Record Label: Nuclear War Now! Records


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Edited 08 July 2020

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