Riders Of The Wasteland
Review by Carl on August 3, 2021.
I don't remember where I've read it exactly, but in a comment section somewhere there was a guy who wrote that a violent hammer is better than a pacifist hammer. This statement makes as much sense as the band's name, which is none, but I just wanted to share this with you, the reader. And in all fairness, as a band name it really gives a good idea of what the music is going to sound like. That Creed cover band your sister's husband formed to get through his midlife crisis isn't going to be called Violent Hammer, that's for sure.
The band immediately kicks it into high gear right from the start, not wasting any time to get the point across. This is savage, primitive and pummeling black/death metal intent on breaking bones and mangling bodies. A major influence is the death metal infused black metal style of a band like Archgoat or Conqueror, with fast primitive battering and raw tremolo picking alternating with slower sections designed to pummel and pound, all within a frame that has no place for melody or any other musical subtleties. Some guitar leads do pop up throughout, but these mostly are violent bursts of fast picked a-melodic insanity in the best Blasphemy tradition, so no Yngwie Malmsteen shit here. The vocals are gruff and cavernous sounding reverb-drenched bellows, that complement the sonic assault very well, although they are pretty one-sided in execution. As a whole the band reminds me of a rougher, tougher version of what a band like Bestial Mockery did in the early 00's, being a high-octane crust punk fueled black/death metal band with some thrash leanings added. It's harsh in execution, utterly primitive in sound and the album's over before you know it, so basically everything you could want from a band in this style.
This is some great no-frills black/death metal, but a few minor points of criticism remain. As mentioned above, there are the somewhat one-sided vocals, but the individual tracks come roaring by in a way that sounds like it's one long song. I had this album on my Mp3 player on a loop, and it was kinda difficult to discern where the last track ended and the first one commenced. Still, this is extreme metal primitivism that has no need for any niceties, as it is meant to pummel the listener into submission with raw power, and in that it well and truly succeeds.
This is recommended listening for all who like it raw, primitive and belligerent.
Rating: 8 out of 10933
Review by Alex on May 23, 2020.
I wonder, does this record come with a lyric sheet? It'd be quite interesting and amusing for that matter, to read the script in an attempt to make sense of what's being exclaimed, when lining it up with the vocal savagery on Riders of the Wasteland by Violent Hammer. Also, I think 'Raiders' of the Wasteland would have been a more suitable title for an album this sort, judging by both the cover artwork's artistic direction and overall music accompanying it.
Barbaric, prehistoric, caveman remnants; impulsive at its core, Riders of the Wasteland displays no restrain; some song influences, can be traced back to fellow countrymen Archgoat, a tiny bit of Beherit and maybe a slight touch of Crurifragium. However, the band's own DNA can be heard through the shabby production and the vicious attack, predicated by all facets but primarily the vocals. You pick a random word associated with this genre and it would be an accurate description of the foul mentality represented. Bestial howls, deranged drumming and psychopathic riffing, Riders of the Wasteland is a face-down hammering, nail to nail, stone to stone.
Riders of the Wasteland is not the kind of record you could rate based on diversity, song-structure or any of that nerdy shit; instead, this is the kind of thing you'd find more comfort and gratification in when making comparisons to a fucking ogre. 'Death Squad' is an undomesticated advance made towards all witnessing the musical mauling. Already devastated by the clobbering, 'Annihilation (Victims of Bomb Raid)' proceeds to add salt to a still bleeding wound with a dreaded downpour of mostly mid-paced doomy snare punctures. '(Trapped) in Depths', treats you like a fat slob of bloody stake and rips you apart with a Polynesian shark-tooth sword after being tenderized by a hand-crafted Neanderthal club.
The album as a whole is primitive; take the vocals for instance, analyze the way it gives some account of how the first words uttered by man were so undeveloped and fossilized. Meanwhile the guitars and drums bare resemblance to a mud-hut put together overnight. Not to say the musicians lack the virtues of composing technically and/or rhythmically enjoyable songs, but that has no purpose on something this sort and Violent Hammer gets that.
Riders of the Wasteland is not meant for you to sip tea to or have a vegan lunch over, this is for the men that live in the gym, have a high intake of calories and despise shaving or anything that has to do with appearing presentable, approachable/hygienic. Metal for Man. A true ancestral beat down. Sasquatch would be proud.
Rating: 8.8 out of 10933