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HELLHAMMER
HELLHAMMER
Demon Entrails
(Prowlin' Death Records / Century Media)
102:11min

This was definitely a long overdue re-issue and the timing for it couldn't be any better as 2008 not only will see the release of Tom G. Warrior's new book about HELLHAMMER ("Only death is real - The illustrated history of HELLHAMMER and early CELTIC FROST"), it also marks the 25th anniversary of the release of HELLHAMMER's three demo classics "Death Fiend", "Triumph Of Death" and "Satanic Rites"! In those 25 years all of the tapes have been bootlegged a whole bunch of times in all kinds of formats (tapes, vinyl, picture discs, CDs...), but never really in a proper way. Ok, I gotta admit that I personally own one bootleg (a double CD set), that was done extremely well already, yet it still can't compete with this official one here! "Demon Entrails" (the title is based upon a previously unreleased HELLHAMMER track) has been released in three different formats: a 3 LP vinyl box, a regular CD edition and this deluxe CD book edition here. So, what can you expect from it? Well, first of all there's of course the 2 CDs: disc 1 features the ten tracks (+ intro and outro) of the "Satanic Rites" demo, that was recorded way back in December 1983, while disc 2 comes up with the "Death Fiend" / "Triumph Of Death" material from June 1983 (17 tracks in total). In case you shouldn't know this yet, "Death Fiend" was never officially released before and as a result the songs ended up on the "Triumph Of Death" demo again... So, combining them on a single disc seems just natural. Even though the entire HELLHAMMER cult has snowballed into a big underground phenomenom throughout the years, it's pretty obvious that it was basically the "Satanic Rites" demo, that first and foremost was responsible for their loyal and dedicated fanbase. That tape not only showcased a very big musical progression from the still very amateurish "Death Fiend" / "Triumph Of Death" sessions, it is also the first release that came up with the wellknown, unique HELLHAMMER sound and style, that you can also hear on the two "Death Metal" compilation tracks and "Apocalyptic Raids" EP. The packaging of this book edition looks extremely impressive. While the whole "book" is more or less an A5 sized deluxe digipak, the entire release furthermore gets delivered in a heavy b/w slipcase, visually rather close to the old demo artworks (the cover art of the vinyl version is included as a small poster as well!). The 36-pages fat booklet itself offers all of the lyrics (except for the track 'Metallic Storm'), lots of classic pictures, the original three demo covers (in- and outside), liner-notes by Tom (basically excerpts of the upcoming book), a bunch of the old Prowling Death Management promo flyers (including the very first HELLHAMMER flyer EVER!) and an unused artwork sketch from Martin Ain, from 1984! Of course you don't really recognize the fact that the entire material was re-mastered for this release, but at least the band members made sure you get the best possible quality of these legendary recordings now! So, I guess it's needless to say that every diehard HELLHAMMER maniac definitely has to go for a copy, no matter which format you should decide on! For more info check out www.myspace.com/hellhammerband.

Frank Stöver

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