Hellhammer Apocalyptic Raids Review: Done by Rancel
The Apocalyptic Raids album by Switzerland black/death metal band, Hellhammer is an extreme metal classic. They were a big influence on many of the modern, existing, and black/death metal bands. The band existed from 1982–1984. The Apocalyptic Raids album was originally a 4 song EP, which was released in 1984. The album has since been reissued in 1990 with 2 bonus tracks taken from the death metal sampler split. Hellhammer had two songs on that sampler along with other bands, Helloween, Dark Avenger, and Running Wild. Tom G. Warrior and Martin Ain formed Celtic Frost after this band dissolved.
- Apocalyptic Raids album lineup:
- Tom G. Warrior aka Satanic Slaughter (Thomas Gabriel Fischer) on vocals and guitars
- Slayed Necros (aka Martin E. Ain) on Bass Guitar and backup vocals
- Denial Fiend (aka Bruce Day) on drums
Hellhammer Apocalyptic Raids: The Review
The Apocalyptic Raids 1990 A.D. Compilation album has 6 songs and is a classic in Extreme Metal Music history. The Apocalyptic Raids record is raw and dirty in production and atmosphere. The sound of the album is of demo quality. The Apocalyptic Raids album starts off with the song, “Third of the Storms (Evoked Damnation)”, which is like Venom and Motorhead amped up on amphetamines. It is composed of simple, dirty, and thin sounding punk/thrash style riffs. You can barely hear the bass like most of the songs on this album. The drumming is amateurish and has a fast pace like the riffs. Tom G. Warrior uses course sounding barking style vocals. Hellhammer combined Motorhead and British Black Metal Pioneers, Venom speedy riffs with a doom like atmosphere and made it even uglier. The Third of the Storms (Evoked Damnation) track is good song to headbang to.
“Massacra“, continues the fast thrashing style of the first song. Tom G. Warrior’s vocals are mean, ugly, and nasty as he spouts out the flaws of human kind and religion over the centuries. The chorus has some foreboding lyrics.
Away is the sun
Endless the night
Intelligence is dead
Track number 3 is “Triumph of Death” which has a negative vibe to it. It is an epic type song at a running time of 9:33. Triumph of Death begins slowly with Tom G. Warrior sounding like he is pain as he wails’ and moans about the realm of the dead. Then some of the best sounding oomph style headbanging riffs kick in as the song speeds up. These chainsaw, grinding, and punch you in your gut style riffs would become a signature for Tom G. Warrior’s follow-up band, Celtic Frost. On the Triumph of Death track you can hear Martin Ain’s Bass Guitar..
“Horus/Aggressor” begins with a thudding and pounding drum sound. This song continues the eerie and foreboding theme from Triumph of Death. It is a slower song than the first two. Tom G. Warrior’s growling vocals are awesome on Horus/Aggressor, as with all the songs on the Apocalyptic Raids album. His vocals are unbound in comparison to his more in control less torturous sounding vocals in Celtic Frost. The drumming is repetitive and mixed to the background with a thin sound. Horus/Aggressor isn’t as good as the others. It is too simple and repetitive in lyrics and structure.
“Revelations of Doom”, which is one of the bonus tracks not on the original issue of this LP/CD. It is a fast thrashy headbanger with awesome riffs much in the same vein as the first two songs. Tom G. Warrior’s vocals have an echo like effect on the Revelations of Doom track. The monotonous drumming is clear and upfront in the mix.
The second of the bonus tracks, “Messiah” is the best song on this compilation. It begins with a chilling guitar intro and then Tom G. Warrior vocals start in with his now famous, Owwwwwwwwwwww! Messiah is a perfectly structured catchy song. Tom G. Warrior does his best vocal performance on this bonus track. The way he drags on his scream of the chorus Messiah!!! is otherworldly. The riffs are the backbone of Messiah and come off like a roaring engine. This final song has aesthetics that would later be used in Celtic Frost.
Click here to buy Apocalyptic Raids – EP
Lyrics from Messiah:
Is this our way, we cannot turn
Extermination day, this world will burn
God has shoved his son, you drawed him
Now it’s time: let’s pray Satan’s mass
Six, six, six, East against the West
Son of Jackal, atomic force kills the rest
You had your time, so follow him
Your soul is ours, world bursts and breaks
Satan’s hordes strive to kill, vultures of steel seed death
No escape, time stands still, feel his deadly breath
Messiah! Messiah! Owwwww!
See the dead of the sun – Christian love in vain
Father killed by son, mother raped in pain
In a world of steel, made from stone
Only death is real – World War … III
Hellhammer Apocalyptic Raids: Closing thoughts
Hellhammer, Celtic Frost and Tom G. Warrior had a great influenced in the extreme metal music movement and are legends in the genre. When Hellhammer first existed back in the years of 1982-1984 very few bands were playing this style. A lot of people think the extreme genre of Black Metal/Death Metal was started in Norway with the famous/notorious bands of the 1990’s such as; Mayhem, Darkthrone, Burzum, Immortal, and Emperor.
The earliest forms of this extreme metal music had its roots in various parts of the world such as; Bathory-Sweden, Kreator-Germany, Destruction-Germany, Sodom-Germany, Sarcófago-Brasil, Possessed-USA, and even Sepultura-Brasil on their first albums Morbid Visions/Bestial Devastation EP. The Apocalyptic Raids album would lay the groundwork for many future extreme metal bands such as; Norway’s “Mayhem”, “Darkthrone”, and various other death and black metal bands.
Hellhammer took elements from Black Sabbath, Motorhead, Venom, and even some crust/punk/hardcore bands like G.B.H and Discharge. Hellhammer just intensified the already impressive styles of those aforementioned bands. You can hear the influence from those bands when you listen to the mean, nasty, ugly, and simplistic riffs. Vocalist, Tom G. Warrior continued the greatness of Hellhammer and improved it with Celtic Frost. He formed Celtic Frost after breaking up Hellhammer in 1984. Some people may not appreciate the Apocalyptic Raids album, because they might consider it disgusting, too raw, ugly, and lacking good production.
I love the Apocalyptic Raids album and it’s fun to listen to at night, when you’re alone. The Apocalyptic Raids album has great atmosphere and a lot of soul put into it. Don’t expect blast beats, guitar effect pedals, and studio tricks on this album. This was all done with poor quality instruments, primitive studio recording equipment, and the question of whether they can pull it off or not. Apocalyptic Raids is a must have album for any headbanger. You should also check out the Hellhammer – Demon Entrails compilation of their 1983 “Satanic Rites”, “Triumph of Death”, and “Death Fiend” Demos. It’s even better than Apocalyptic Raids, which was the bands only official release.
Click here to buy Apocalyptic Raids – EP
Tom G. Warrior: “Only Death is Real”
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