Onward To The Pits
Review by Felix on June 20, 2022.
To this day, the dirty, chaotic and badly brought up duo called Deathhammer has yet to release a bad record. However, it seems to me a little bit as if the Norwegian ruffians act in nuances more calmly on their latest work "Electric Warfare", if one may use the term "calm" in connection with their diabolic doings. But good news, there is absolutely no sign of tranquillity on "Onward to the Pits". Here there is non-stop on the face. Both the instrumental section and the vocals celebrate a feast of insanity. Just listen to the fanatical shrieking in the choruses of "Fullmooooon Sorceryyyyy" or "Voodoo Riiiiites". As long as the voice does not roll over and only pointed screams sound, not enough is done! No question, against this shrill vocal acrobatics even the semi-legendary screaming of an old master like Schmier seems downright restrained.
The compositions spread an aura of unstoppable energy. “Final Black Mass” offers some decent Possessed influences during the leads between the verses and the choruses, but there is also a nice dose of classic German thrash in the recipe of Deathhammer’s sound. “Lead Us into Hell” appears as a remarkable mixture of early, rumbling songs (“Devil’s Soldier”) and later, technical precise works from Destruction. Anyway, each and every track adds value to this record. These Scandinavians can boast with more potential than a lot of other, stylistically comparable bands and they have no problem to offer black thrash over the distance of almost 40 minutes without being at risk to bore the listener. It's a never-ending fireworks display of vital riffs, murderous leads, permanently driving drums and openly flaunted malevolence. Other bands play, Manowar kills? Ahahahahaha, best joke ever, at least from the sid of these four mega-masculine jesters. Joey de Thingamabob can go home. Either he (along with his promotion machine) is the most ruthless liar the world has ever known, or he's just never been allowed to listen to records like this one. Even worse, the one does not exclude the other.
In very rare moments, the duo conveys a melancholic feeling, for example at the end of “Seduced by the Flames”. But don't worry, there is no genetic defect or anything like that here. The weird guys only allow themselves and the listener a minimum of variety. “Onwards to the Pits” delivers an entertaining pleasure thanks to good or even fantastic songs. It sounds authentic, self-confident and autonomous, defying the narrow stylistic framework of the subgenre. By the way, the technical execution is also well done, because the production has wirtten “as dirty as possible and as clean as necessary” all over it. Deathhammer walk on this thin line with amazing sure-footedness. The gatefold abum design and the purple vinyl are charming as well and the lyrics are on the inside. Okay, the amateurish artworks (also included as poster) seem to be sacrosanct in the cosmos of the band, but who is free from, well, special effects?
Rating: 8.4 out of 10350