After a crazy week of moving offices and just dealing with all the headaches that come with relocating, I knew what I wanted my first album review to be in our new HQ. I needed something that kicks teeth in. For those of you who didn’t already know, there is this band HAMMERCULT from Israel who specialize in brutalizing thrash metal that will suck you in from the very first listen and then rip out your eyes and skull-fuck you. Think I’m kidding? Pop in their latest album Steelcrusher, a no-holds barred affair spanning 12 tracks that start and end on TEN with no signs of slowing down in between. Why? Because HAMMERCULT don’t have time for that nonsense, ok? Their mission is clear: pound the living fuck out of you until you like it. And you will. I sure as hell did!
After the “Hymn to the Steel (Intro)”, the next three songs, “Steelcrusher”, “Metal Rules Tonight”, and “Into Hell” are a potent combination of balls-out riffs and breakneck speeds, vocalist and resident maniac Yakir Shochat leaving it all out there for everyone to rage to. Trust me, he’s a madman! “We Are the People” is one of the more aggressive tunes, reminiscent of one of my favorite bands HAVOK, but still keeping its own identity, and also features a guest solo from SEPULTURA’S Andreas Kisser. I really liked the blend of NWOBHM and old school thrash found on “Burning the Road” as well, and that was one of the things that kept me coming back, no doubt.
The intro to “Ironbound” really lets you know something great is coming and for the next four minutes greatness is what we get. Easily one of my favorites on this disc, it is one I simply could not get enough of. This leads right into the relentless hammering beat of “Unholy Art” and my ABSOLUTE favorite “Satanic Lust”. A lot of people have talked about this one and believe me, the raving is justified. It’s a heavy song that also has some of the funniest lyrics you’ll ever hear from a thrash metal band. As soon as I heard it I knew I was all in on this band! Stay tuned for my interview with Yakir where you’ll see we had a good laugh over this one.
Rapid fire riffs are the order of the day on “Liar” courtesy of Arie Aranovich and Guy Ben David, and “Damnation Arise” also ramps up the speedometer resulting in some neck-breaking grooves. And HOLEEEEEY SHIT, “Heading For War”!! I swear, if this one doesn’t have you seriously considering mowing down old people in crosswalks when you’re behind the wheel then I don’t know what’s wrong with you. Sometimes a song makes me want to just crack a bottle over someone’s head. This is one of them (Yes, I know, I have issues!). Last, but certainly not least is closer “In the Name of the Fallen”, which drops the hammer down one final time and reminds you just who the fuck you’re dealing with. The name of the band is HAMMERCULT. The album is Steelcrusher. It’s available now via Sonic Attack/SPV Records, so I suggest you go get it…NOW.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM