“Open the gates, Lord
Far too long in the shadows we’ve dealt”
This how “Necro Speed Megalomania“, the first track from “Under the Unholy Command” opens. A message as sharp as a blade wielded by the Serbian Terrorhammer.
Formed initially by Warbeast Holocausto (vocals) and Pentagramator The Helltyrant (guitars) in 2010, the band released a demo (Promo 2012 AB) and an EP (Vintage Black Mass) in 2012. When everything seemed to fall perfectly into place, in 2013 Warbeast decided to leave Terrorhammer and become Atterigner, the vocalist of the cult Norwegian black metal band Gorgoroth, leaving Pentagramator the sole member of this promising band.
After another small line up change, 2015 finds the band a duo again, with B.B.K. Necro Doctor handling the bass duties and Pentagramator taking care of the guitars and vocals. The same year, the unholy duo inked a deal with Spain’s Deathrune Records and released their first full length, “Under the Unholy Command“.
A collection of 8 songs, plus an intro, this album is a modern day manifesto that old school metal can be done the right way even in the 21st century, should you have the proper tools of the trade. In a scene already drowned by so many, countless, old school bands and genres, Terrorhammer obviously didn’t invent the wheel, but managed to stand out from other releases through music and musicianship.
For 35 minutes, we have the pleasure to hear catchy riffs, pounding drums and raspy, barked vocals singing about Satan, graveyards, rituals and metal. This is not about originality, but about music made from the heart. Terrorhammer knows exactly how to do it and their speed/blackened thrash metal wraps you in a frenzied mood, possessing your body and soul. “Obey her ways of darkness/You will bleed for the countess”, screams Pentagramator on “Blood for the Countess“, the 4th track, which is a 100% speed metal hymn.
The album follows with the furious “Hell Commando“, a perfect black metal song, with powerful blast beats, crazy riffs and groovy rhythm. This is the band’s strong point, the capability of creating such a groovy atmosphere that makes you wanna spin the disc over and over, until you drop dead on the floor of your room.
The album was produced by the band and I am extremely happy with the result. A perfect sound, (I really like how the bass guitar is heard) that really makes the album so very easy to listen to. The voice (ah, that barking voice) is perfect, it fits the music like a spiked glove and fires the lyrics like shrapnels.
From the very first track, “Necro Speed Megalomania“, to the last one, “Church of Sodomy“, we are treated with a high quality alcoholic cocktail of old school, melodic, groovy, hard and fast metal. Sometimes, this album reminds me of Bewitched‘s “At the Gates of Hell” and “Rise of the Antichrist” albums, but with a more evil twist. Just listen closely to “Graveyard Bitch” and you’ll see what I mean.
The lyrics are no literary work of art, but hell, who the fuck needs that when you have lines like “Graveyard Witch – she’s Satan’s bitch/Together we’ll desecrate this holy place/Graveyard Witch – she’s Satan’s bitch/Laugh to death and drink in his infernal name”?
Overall, Terrorhammer have managed to release one of the best albums of this fucked up genre, a manifesto which shows that writing good music can be done in such a simpler and honest way. This is a breath of fresh air in this more and more tormented scene, with no weak points. No too long, not a second too short, each song is different and, to add a plus to this, check out the cover, which is the perfect nail in this coffin that is “Under the Unholy Command“.
“Church of Sodomy” closes the album with some of the most amazing guitar riffs and blast beats I have ever heard, courtesy of the session drummer Butcher, who maybe some of you remember from the Czech black metal band Avenger.
Crack open a can of cold brew, press play, lay back and prepare to headbang like there’s no tomorrow. Terrorhammer‘s gonna get you, that’s a fuckin’ promise!! živeli!
“Bless me father so I can sin”
1. Catacombs of Pandemonium
2. Necro Speed Megalomania
3. Final Opression
4. Blood for the Countess
5. Hell Commando
6. Dawn of the Pentagram
7. Graveyard Witch
8. Atomic Overload
9. Church of Sodomy
Pentagramator: Vocals and guitars
B.B.K. Necro Doctor: Bass
Butcher: session drums