HellHammer
Apocalyptic Raids 1990 A.D.


3.5
great

Review

by Pedro B. USER (303 Reviews)
May 24th, 2005 | 24 replies


Release Date: 1984 | Tracklist


Overview

Music, like soccer, is a very funny business. Some bands are clinically put together in order to become hits, and don’t; others get together to wreak up some havoc in a garage and end up becoming legends. Such was the case with HellHammer.

Starting off in 1984, this band first brought together singer/guitarist Tom G. Warrior (one of the most charismatic figures of the metal scene) and bass man Martin E. Ain. Both would later form Celtic Frost. Their goal with HH was to make as extreme a brand of metal as possible. And guess what…they made it. «Apocalyptic Raids», their legendary EP and sole work of art, is as fast and dirty as you could possibly get in the pre-Death era. The musicians can barely play their instruments, but that’s OK – the goal is to be cacophonous anyway, so it ends up not mattering.

Warrior, Ain and drummer-for-hire Bruce Day (one of the many that the band had) blast their way through five short tracks, plus the long 9-minute epic «The Triumph Of Death». In the end, the listener is left with a craving for more, more, MORE – but unfortunately, there isn’t any more. HH broke up a few months after having started, and after just two weeks Ain and Warrior put up Celtic Frost, a far more musically evolved band. From that moment on, Warrior painfully denied the sheer existence of a band called HH, and insisted CF was the band to be taken into consideration. Still, this album is proof enough that there was indeed a HH…and that they were very good.

Tracks

The album begins with «The Third of The Storms (Evoked Damnation)», which gives straight away what the band is all about. Fast, thrashy guitars mix with drums that keep a single pattern throughout the whole song (and indeed nearly the whole record). It’s a fine song, but not the best on this album. But it does get your blood pumping for what’s to come… (3,5/5)

And what’s to come is «Massacra», the best of these six tracks. Again fast and thrashy, it boasts lyrics about «the churches of Hell» and other demonic pleasantries typical of the genre. This is such a simple song that it will be easy for the rookiest of instrumentalists to tab it . It only features two riffs and the drum pattern is imbecilically simple. As for the title, it looks like a misspelling of the word «massacre», and probably is (don’t forget HH were Swiss.) But none of this detracts to what is essentially a crude thrash masterpiece. (5/5)

The third track is the legendary «Triumph Of Death», a 9-minute track in which the lyrics basically consist of a series of growls, grunts and screams from T.G.Warrior. Backing it all up is a churning, repetitive riff that does not change during THE ENTIRE NINE MINUTES!! As you may have guessed, this is not the easiest of listen. Indeed, it can easily induce paranoia or make you want to break something out of frustration (it never, EVER changes. Ever.) Still, it’s one hell of a good track and apparently the main reason HH split. As Warrior says in the liner notes, «where could we go musically after TOD»? (5/5)

«Horus/Aggressor» is next, with a «desert»-type intro giving way to yet another furiously thrashy song. After the slower drums on Triumph of Death, now we are back to the usual thud-thud-thud double-bass assault. Once again, this song has its moments, but overall is no more than average.

The original «Apocalyptic Raids» ended here, but this new version comes with two bonus tracks.

The first is «Revelations of Doom», which despite the title is a song similar to all the others on this record except with a slightly different riff. For my money, it’s the least interesting of the bunch, and really not necessary for the improvement of the album. (2,5/5)

«Messiah» is an entirely different matter. Perhaps the most famous HH song (it was even covered by Sepultura), this doesn’t detract from the usual formula, but boasts a good chorus and nearly manages to achieve «Massacra» calibre. Almost. (4,5/5)

All in all, a painfully one-dimensional album, but also a very good one. If you’re a fan of classic black/thrash metal you can’t afford to miss it. If you can find it, that is…



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user ratings (72)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
ReturnToRock
May 24th 2005


3448 Comments


sorry i forgot to rate «horus/aggressor» it gets 3/5.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
May 24th 2005


2125 Comments


Great review. This sounds a lot like the principles of my black metal work. I've researced and looked up these guys a bit but never listened to them, I'll check them out.

rattlehead42147
June 27th 2007


1345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

how is this like soccer?

KILL
July 30th 2011


71856 Comments


true

Digging: A Guy Called Gerald - Black Secret Technology

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
July 30th 2011


16137 Comments


Never realized this was reviewed. Great stuff.

pissbore
December 2nd 2011


9935 Comments


fuckin slays

PerpetualDawn
December 4th 2011


42 Comments


absolute classic

pissbore
January 12th 2013


9935 Comments


rules hard

pissbore
January 18th 2013


9935 Comments


triumph of death best vocal performance of all time right up there with dreamer deceiver

pissbore
January 18th 2013


9935 Comments


scratch that it's better

pissbore
January 21st 2013


9935 Comments


way too much shitty music being discussed right now so bump

demigod!
January 21st 2013


44544 Comments


isnt this prehistoric celtic frost

Digging: Fugazi - Repeater

pissbore
January 21st 2013


9935 Comments


yeah its different though check it out hard

hellhammer is more satan, celtic frost is more occult

demigod!
January 21st 2013


44544 Comments


sounds morbit

pissbore
January 21st 2013


9935 Comments


yeah listen to triumph of death it will change your life

70sPriestIsBetter
January 23rd 2013


1934 Comments


triumph of death best vocal performance of all time [2]

pissbore
February 4th 2013


9935 Comments


bump in honor of black metal history month

pissbore
February 8th 2013


9935 Comments


i have a dream/

pissbore
April 20th 2013


9935 Comments


triumph of death best vocal performance of all time [3]


Permabanned
July 19th 2013


1181 Comments


oh man im rockin out right now



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