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This is a review of Demolition Hammer's second album - the mighty "Epidemic of Violence" released in 1992 via Century Media. The line up consists of James Reilly on guitar, Vinny Daze (R.I.P) on drums, Derek Sykes also on guitar and finally Steve Reynolds on bass and lead vocals.
Well, this is the first album of Demolition Hammer's that I have purchased so I will not be comparing it to their first album "Tortured Existance" as I have very little experience of it. I have to admit, I was absolutely blown away during my first listen to a few tracks off this album on youtube - "Skull Fracturing Nightmare", "Human Dissection", "Epidemic of Violence" and "Aborticide" because their just so damn heavy! Based on my reaction to these five songs, I was excited to order and listen to the full album so here is my review!
Firstly, this album is FAST! Every song is just sheer speed or includes sections of sheer speed - the drums, guitars and the vocals. Despite this album being so fast, it's also mixed up with different speed changes during every song which kept me interested as flat out constant speed for a whole album can become tedius sometimes. Well, for me anyway. One of the biggest changes in speed can be heard in "Carnivorous Obsession" which is alot slower but still so brutal, and acts as a perfect breather in this fast paced album. Although this song is slower compared to other songs on the album, it still contains sections of high speed thrash which I think acts as a reminder of the ferocious pace of the album on a whole.
The riffs included in this album are fast, heavy but also extremely catchy which I really enjoy in thrash/death metal. Perfect examples of these catchy riffs can be heard in tracks such as "Skull Fracturing Nightmare", "Human Dissection" and "Pyroclastic Annihilation". As well as the riffs being catchy, choruses are also catchy in places throughout this album which gives any metalhead the perfect excuse to attempt spitting out the lyrics along with the phenominal Steve Reynolds. One of the most catchy choruses to me is featured in "Aborticide" when Steve Reynolds screams "Blood expelled from the wounds, massive haemoorhage flood, noisome afterbirth". Listen to it and you'll understand!
Unlike some thrash metal bands ahem, Slayer, the guitar solo's in this album actually fit! In every song, the solo's manage to fit in with the fast pace which to me is very impressive. Considering some thrash metal guitarists just execute the fastest squealing guitar solo's which yes, is impressive, Demolition Hammer break away from this which for me is a very nice change and makes them unique from other thrash bands.
The lyrics featured in this album are very err, graphic. Well it is thrash/death so I expect nothing less! Again this is what makes Demolition Hammer so unique, their blend of thrash and death metal which works so perfectly. Examples of these very graphic lyrics can be found in well, every song on the album practically, my favourite being "Brutality, fresh bodies strung by their limbs, inverted corpses punctured, drainage of the blood" from the slow grinding "Carnivorous Obsession".
I definately will not be able to finish this review without mentioning Vinny Daze's groundbreaking drumming. The stamina that this man uses to play this double bass and blastbeat onslaught which is ongoing throughtout the entire album is just, well, indescribable! For me, the drumwork on this album is the most standout feature, closely followed by the amount of energy in Steve Reynolds vocals. Crank this album up on your stereo and your whole house is likely to be demolished! That's how insane this man's drumming is!
In conclusion, this album will probably be one of the heaviest that any metalhead listens to. So, if your looking for the heaviest of the heaviest, I definetly recommend that you buy Epidemic of Violence - you will not regret it, even when you snap your neck banging your head off to it! It's brilliant fusion of thrash and death metal makes this album truly unique and damn heavy! You want metal, buy this album!
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Skull Fracturing Nightmare
2 Human Dissection
3 Pyroclastic Annihilation
5 Carnivorous Obsession
6 Orgy Of Destruction
7 Epidemic Of Violence
10 Mercenary Aggression (Live - Bonus Track)
11 Cataclysm (Live - Bonus Track)
12 Crippling Velocity (Live - Bonus Track)
13 Carnivorous Obsession (Live - Bonus Track)