Reviewed: September 2020
Released: 2020, Pagan Records
Reviewer: Rossy Maguire
Ragehammer formed in 2011 in Kraków, inspired by the Gods from Venom, Sodom, Bathory, and Impaled Nazarene, aimed at everyone and everything holy and correct. From their first demo “War Hawks” (Mythrone Promotion, 2012), through the full-length debut album “The Hammer Doctrine” (Pagan Records, 2016), from the early gigs in local pubs and clubs to sharing stages with such metal heavyweights as Deströyer 666, Angelcorpse, Toxic Holocaust or Cannibal Corpse, the almost-decade-long path of Ragehammer seems clear as ever before: raw, warlike black/thrash metal, without compromises, unnecessary distance or mercy.
“Into Certain Death” consists of 10 slabs of sonic violence with variable pain levels in the characteristic of sincere and brutal blackened thrash metal style which continues the path Ragehammer chose when starting in 2011.
The album opens with the sound of marching boots/soldiers proceeded by a military-like snare drum roll. This helps create the atmosphere of what the album will entail and throw the listener into. Around 0:53 in, the dynamic of the song changes into more aggressive drum patterns and introducing the death thrash elements into the song. This creates a great opener and expectation of what the album will consist of.
A natural flow happens in We are the Hammer as it follows directly on from the previous track, but introduces more thrashy tones and death metal vocals to draw the listener Into Certain Death.
Throughout the rest of the album, I found the majority of the songs to be similar to each other, in particular, Jesus Goat to Omega Red. There did not seem to be much variation in between each track but the consistency works very well and maintains the strong thrashy instrumentals and death metal vocals.
One song that I found interesting but great was the last track on the album, Prophet of Genocide part 2. Being the longest track of the album, I found this one helps encapsulate and bring together everything good in this album and provide an epic finisher. This is due to the strong intro proceeded by heavy tremolo picking and cleaner vocals, but around 4:45, the tone and dynamic of the track reverts to a thrashy nature to carry the listener through to the end of the track.