Boarhammer – I: Cutting Wood For Magickal Purposes

Spread the metal:

Reviewed: January 2022
Released: 2021, self-released
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Kira Levine

Boarhammer is a German black metal duo (guitarist/vocalist Wodwoz and singing, drumming bassist The Vessel), formed in 2020. I: Cutting Wood For Magickal Purpose is their debut demo, limited to only 150 independently-released tape cassette copies.

Atmospheric opener “Riding the Hedge” makes a sleazy transformation, leaving behind its calm beginnings and launching straight into a blast beats and venomous vocals. The demo tape’s lo-fi quality adds another layer of grit, also causing the buzzing bass to sound like a bellowing swamp beast.

“Channelling Wormwood Spirits” boasts a spoken word section that is gripping not only because it’s where the most intelligible lyrics are delivered, but also because of the actual message. Much like on the first track, there are some almost-hidden elements that may be missed on the first listen, due to them not being as attention-grabbing as others – definitely worth replaying both in order to catch them.

Dramatic pauses between tempo changes throughout “Spirits on Black Wings” make for a riveting listening experience. Busy but not too overwhelming, the track will keep you pleasantly entertained. Some screams and laughs add to the threatening aura Wodwoz’s voice and dirty guitar tones create on this seven-minute song.

“Tatra Wolves” channels an animalistic vibe vocally, over a sludge of heavy instrumentation. The bog-like soundscape continues in “Ritual Tusks”, where the mixture of clean and coarse vocals are delivered at their very best on I: Cutting Wood For Magickal Purposes. The fifth track even mentions the project’s name, which makes it shine even brighter.

By the time “The Trees Are No Trees” has arrived, the doom-tinged metal riffs seem a bit played out, but some lively drumming from The Vessel keeps the energy high. “Black Funeral”, originally by Mercyful Fate, follows, giving the release an almost comical ending, albeit with less shrieking, high-pitched vocals than King Diamond.

For a demo consisting of only two people, it has a decent length and there is a slight hint of humour in the vocal delivery, which shows that they had some fun whilst recording I: Cutting Wood…. However, musically, it does tend to venture into safe territory more often than not, with most of the variation stemming from the fact there are two vocalists with contrasting styles. Hopefully Wodwoz and The Vessel will experiment further when releasing their full-length. A promising half-hour sample of what Boarhammer have to offer.


Band line-up:

Wodwoz – guitars, vocals
The Vessel – vocals, drums, bass

Track-listing:

1. Riding the Hedge
2. Channelling Wormwood Spirits
3. Spirits on Black Wings
4. Tatra Wolves
5. Ritual Tusks
6. The Trees Are No Trees
7. Black Funeral (Mercyful Fate cover)

Websites:

Bandcamp