Released: 2003, Unsung Heroes Records
Reviewer: Night of the Realm
Wanna take a trip back into black metal hell circa 1983? What would you say to some old school black thrash metal in the vein of the early masters: Venom, Sodom, Mercyful Fate, more Venom, and even further back to the roots of Motorhead. This CD is fucking old school! At the same time, this one-man project from Delaware sounds just as relevant today as the masters were some twenty years ago.
With a raw, brutal, and uncompromising sound that some listeners may claim is only a nostalgic throwback band, Chemikiller is not out to win over any friends: you’re either already a fan of the aforementioned bands, or you don’t get the point of dirty black-thrash.
I fucking love this CD. HELLROCKIN’ DEMOS is a compilation of Chemikiller’s demos on one CD, for your unwholesome listening pleasure. From the intro to “House of Blood,” with an Aboriginal intro and almost an Alice Cooper-ish vibe, we’ve already got plenty of hell and rockin’ to go around. “The Blackest Night” is a solid slab of Venom-inspired thrash-speed. The sound is about as close to the roots of black thrash as one can get, but the whole album manages to sound new and fresh, refusing to fall back on rehashed riffs and warmed-over nostalgia. The main riff of “Seek the Reaper” is heavy, pummeling, and driving, keeping this song among the heaviest and thrashiest on the album. The bass lines in here are so ballsy that they’re almost overpowering. Really, the sound quality is well produced, maintaining the dirty sound and dark atmosphere, yet all the instruments are clearly audible. My only complaint, as with most one-man projects, is the drumming (programmed, I’m sure); with a real drummer on the skins, the slight (and I mean VERY slight) “artificial” sound would be eliminated. Hell, with a real drummer on board, then Chemikiller would be an incredible stage show. “Flesh Eaters” is about as fast and catchy as they come on this album, and “Devil’s Reign,” with its menacing background bell tolls seeks to summon up something unholy. The quality continues through the last three songs on the album until the meager 31 minutes of Chemikiller draws to an end and I have to put the album on repeat. This album is pure metal.
Doubt me? Read Ramrod’s own words from his site:
Chemikiller is making music today because it has to. Because the heavy, powerful music that was born in the 80's was corrupted in the 90's, when the music too often took second place to cheap Kiss-like makeup, unlistenable non-musicians using minimal lo-fi technology, cheap horror film schlock, and nauseating kiddy-Nazism. Ramrod's creation, Chemikiller resurrects the classic thrash sounds of the 80's. A time when Metal was pure and true. If you also long for the glory days, please listen to the music. Sure, there is some new 21st century technology, but the message is in the music again.
Fucking right. Hail blackthrash. Hail Chemikiller.