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WITCHES HAMMER
WITCHES HAMMER
Canadian Speed Metal
(NWN! Productions)
35:59min

Nuclear War Now does it again. I remember thinking in 1987 when I started my (very) short-lived fanzine "The Black Mark", that I would never be able to review all the albums being released in those days. At the time I worked in a local record store as the Metal / import records buyer (yeah, those 12" round, black things) and so was in a position to hear just about everything that came out in the States and abroad. Week after week there were new albums and demos by "great" Thrash Metal bands, plus "Aardshock", "Metal Mania" (Ron Quintana's, thank you very much), "Unholy Book", "At Dawn They Read", "Kick Ass", "Level Six" etc. promised more and more. Looking back today, the idea that the scene was then "absolutely flooded with too many new bands" actually seems quaint. But of course it was flooded in its own way, and naturally some bands were to slip through the cracks. Witches Hammer was one of those relatively unknown Speed Metal bands, but here is your chance to play catch up. Filthy dirty Slaughter-ish guitars, At War-like vocals, and Lombardo-worshipping drumming mesh together quite will with the conventional Thrash Metal topics - 'Legions Of The Undead', 'Mantle Of Death' and of course, 'Deadly Mantis'. Other songs like 'Thulsa Doom' and 'INRI' are easy standouts, while 'Frozen God / Witches Hammer' and 'Final Storm' stand the test of time rather well. This LP was mastered straight from a cassette master, but still sounds quite good. One of the members was later to resurface in Blasphemy as Traditional Sodomizer (of the Goddess of Perversity... yes, that Traditional Sodomizer), but don't buy this expecting to hear another version of the legendary Ross Bay Desecrators; this is pure, unmitigated '80s thrashing madness! For more information see: nwnprod.fateback.com/

Charles Keller

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