Review Summary: More than essential.
As a fan of black metal, death metal and thrash metal, no other band encompasses the starting point and key accomplishments like Hellhammer did when they pumped out early demos way the hell back in 83/84. Just take a moment and try to comprehend how many bands you listen to within any of the subgenres mentioned above. Makes you head spin thinking about it, huh? You name it, Hellhammer did it. Before Century Media turned into a metal purists worst nightmare, they acquired every single Hellhammer demo and remastered as well as re-recorded a few songs into Demon Entrails
; a two disc, nauseating historical repertoire that captured an era a long, long time ago. Whether Century Media acquired these demos under circumstances given the way Celtic Frost self-financed Monotheist
and had it internationally distributed by Century Media (there might have been some owing, we will never know), it’s still presented here in fine fashion without any of the dirt and grit removed.
Disc one explores their longest demo called Satanic Rites
that was recorded in December of 83. Rightfully so, this was the definitive version of the band as they cranked out twelve songs of proto black metal with a strong thrash leaning. Looking through the track listing, about half of the songs are indeed re-recorded versions from disc two (which are from their first two demos). Regardless, the remainder are originals where the dust was blown off and put onto disc. Disc two is a much more raw affair, exploring the bands first two demos entitled Triumph of Death
and Death Fiend
. Thomas G. Fischer and company began as a more proto-black metal band with hints of death metal and punk influence before their full on thrash attack. What’s strangely odd is that not one song off these demos is re-recorded given the age and fragility that some of these master tapes can be. The amount of riffs borrowed off these demos to heighten Celtic Frost’s first three albums (after Hellhammer split to begin a more experimental version of themselves) is insane and shouldn’t go unnoticed. It’s interesting that a lot of these riffs have lasted this long and carbon copied to no end with great lasting power.
Calling this double disc compilation essential is an understatement. This is a groundbreaking set of demos that opened up the door for not one, but three different subgenres. Hellhammer and Thomas G. Fischer were and still continue to be a lifeline throughout all of these genres and hopefully inspiration for many generations of metalheads to come.