War Hammer – War Hammer

Reviewed: October 2017
Released: 2017, Independent
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Waspman

Storming out of Illinois comes new intriguing metallians, War Hammer. That is such an obvious name for a metal band, I’m shocked that it hasn’t been used long before now (there is a similarly small Finnish band using the name too). Anyway, cool name for these four lads.

Also cool is the band’s music, which is a thorough and engaging mixture of death, power, and traditional metal. To drive home the eclectic music, the band uses two vocalists with three distinct voices: gruff singing, high screaming, and death growl. If that sounds like a perfect mixture for chaos, it is, but somehow the band makes it all work, gelling the music into a coherent whole. Opening cut, “The Deadlands” is a slow, stomping death metal cut that also includes clear lead vocals and sets the tone. “Morbid Thoughts” continues down this trajectory before “Winterkill” opens with soothing (!) bass strumming and the sounds of gusting winds. The song then slowly builds into a chugging traditional metal anthem. Very cool, and one of my favorite songs on the EP.

I’m not going to walk through every song but that gives you an idea of the diverse nature of War Hammer’s music. Despite the wide range of musical influences, the band show their strength as writers by ensuring that each song flows naturally from one part to the next; none of the songs feel like “cut & paste” exercises. Quality.

It may not be perfectly original, but War Hammer have crafted a sound they can identifiably call their own. I look forward to hearing where they go from here.


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Track Listing:
1. The Deadlands
2. Morbid Thoughts
3. Winterkill
4. Death of a Dream
5. Infernal Sacrifice
6. Frontline Massacre

Lineup:
Terry Richards: Bass, Vocals
Rich Campbell: Drums
Jesse Gonzales: Guitar, Vocals
Mike Krugman: Guitar

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