Saturday 8 December 2012

Fisthammer - Devour All You See

It's good to get back to a bit of sanctuary, especially as we're nearing the christmas and I have a horrible thing called real life bearing down on me. Still, that should only be short-term pain, so to clear my head for a few hours, I'm posting some new reviews. Starting with Philadelphia's tech death sons, Fisthammer and their debut album, Devour All You See.

Fisthammer was born in 2008 and have been releasing demo's, touring and writing music  since then. They record normally as a three-piece, but are a four-piece live, with the addition of a bassist. Their debut album was actually released in January of this year through Horror Pain Gore Death Records. It seems a pretty natural fit to me!

1. Intro (The Final Hour of Darkness)
2. Razorwaves
3.  Aten: Fear The Obliteration of Earth
4. Kull The Conqueror
5. Bullet Rape
6. Berserkers
7. Doom of The Gods
8. Harvest
9. Zombocalypse
10. Cross The Lines In Blood
11. The Resurrection of Bastet the Devourer

Devour All You See kicks off with a suitably majestic intro, with stirring orchestral and interesting percussion sounds. It definitely hints at the bombast to come.
Razorwaves kicks things off properly with insane kick drums and thrash inspired guitar. The guitar is very clean sounding and the vocals have a modern sheen to them, which makes an unexpected sound. I was expecting the usual muddied, old school affair, but that's not the case here. That drumming is really frenetic! You can certainly here why these guys have been chosen to support Master on their 2013 US tour.
Fisthammer just plough straight into Aten: Fear The Obliteration of Earth, as if rests and breathers don't exist. It follows much the same template as Razorwaves, sounding very much like a straightforward continuation. The dual deep/high growls from Max Svalgard and Kevin Welch add a more familiar tone to their music and the epic guitar solo shows great skill. There's still no getting away from the frankly insane drumming of Danny Piselli though. Perhaps he's secretly an octopus!

The quiet guitar that herald in Kull The Conqueror gives way to a more mid-paced song, which isn't a bad thing. It certainly sounds menacing and highlights the atmosphere that Fisthammer are going for. It's not long though before the pace picks up again and you're left flailing mercilessly under the weight of the music crashing from your speakers. There are subtle orchestral tones in the background here, which hints at the bombast I talked about earlier, but thankfully it doesn't overpower what really matters here, the crushing death metal.

The plunge straight into the brilliantly named Bullet Raped, leaves you breathless again and the thrash metal overtones become more evident, in the clean riffs and twin harmonies. There are strange moments of otherworldly solace here too, when all the instruments are playing in unison. It's almost hypnotic! There is certainly no quarter given and nobody left unscathed by the brute force and pace with which Fisthammer attack. Just listen to percussion in Berserkers. Things take a slight twist in the middle of the song, as Fisthammer briefly cross into a really groovy, techy section, which sounds like they took lessons from electro metallers Pain. It doesn't last long though, as you're soon propelled back into the mire.

The opening riff of Doom of The Gods could have been written by any of today's current modern metal bands, as it hold such melodic heft. It sounds ace and again, is very unexpected.  I have to admit too that I was sat through most of this song, trying to move my feet at the speed of drummer Danny Piselli, as if I was controlling the kick pedals, but alas I nearly kicked through my floor, such was the relentless pace.

Harvest is more your traditional death metal song, but it's still think with amazing fills, chunky riffs and screaming leads, which perfectly intertwine with the deep, deathly growls. This album is still only two thirds of the way through at this point, but it's already shaping up to be one of the best death metal albums I've heard all year.
Sci-fi inspired Zombocalypse features some math-inspired time signatures in places, but these are few and far between as it’s not long before Fisthammer make it back to the safe haven of blasting death. As you reach the final two tracks on Devour All You See, you know you've witnessed an incredibly well written, modern death metal album. It's got a huge amount going for it, with the touches that would make traditional death metal fans happy, to the modern structures and influences that will help convert a new generation of fans onto their version of death metal. If you only have to listen to one more metal album this year, make sure it's this one!

I strongly recommend that you give this record a listen via Fisthammer's bandcamp page below:-

Fisthammer have also made Devour All You See available for digital purchase on their bandcamp pager or you can buy a physical copy from Horror Pain Gore Death at

Fisthammer are on Facebook too at

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