Violent Hammer – More Victims (Shadow Kingdom Records)Thursday, 15th January 2015
It’s usually the other way around with Shadow Kingdom: They dig into the past to find ultra-hard-to-find albums, demos, EPs, and the like. This time, they’re working with a new(er) band (by their standards) in the form of Finnish death/thrashers Violent Hammer, who since their 2006 formation, have released nothing but demos. (Perhaps they feel releasing full-lengths aren’t “kvlt” enough. Who knows.) The demo in question is their third overall, More Victims, clocking in at six songs and a not-so robust 17 minutes.
Given that it’s rare for Shadow Kingdom to release a death/thrash album of this nature (some of the label’s vintage picks have been dead-on), it’s only natural Violent Hammer are straight from the old-school. For demo standards, More Victims doesn’t sound like too much of a mess, with some cohesion apparent during the frothy “Extinction (Nuclear War)” and pace-pushing “Life After Nuclear Genocide,” both of which head right for the gates of slop-o-rama thrash ala early Sodom, Sepultura, and the like. Still, the band’s limitations are readily apparent in the grand scheme of things. They may be from Finland (read: bands of this ilk are few and far between), but beyond that, there’s just a few scrapes of promise and that’s it.
Apparently, the cassette release of More Victims is limited to only 100 copies, thus furthering the vintage cause of a band who will probably need a quality full-length to get a leg up. For total purists only.