I am angry today. Very angry. A black rage roars through my innards with voices screaming for bloody revenge. But of course, we all know that nothing good will come out of anything physical. So, RMR himself dove deep into the review pipeline to find a slab of the darkest and most brutal metal that is spoiling for a fight in the acid dregs of the lowest layers of our stockpile of rusty steel. Because – believe it or not – harsh metal can be therapeutic and calm things down. The good Dr. Bastard on a roll, dressed in once-white robes that now brightly shine in 50 shades of crimson? Quite. Be a Wolfbastard for once.
Quite unsurprisingly, the band hails from Manchester in the United Kingdom, a city that had, and still has, its fair share of social issues. And true to the place’s reputation, Hammer The Bastards takes no prisoners. The metal it spews is down ‘n’ dirty, vile, and utterly without ornaments. A blood-spattered orgy of crusty Black Metal that speeds down any gloomy alleyway it can find in search of more cassocked or – indeed – any other beings to put to the hammer.
So, if you’re looking for the refined blackened fare with all these groovy accouterments that the Extreme Metal connoisseur got accustomed to lately, come again. There’s no subtlety in there, no solos, no elaborate riffs to speak off. In its best punk splendor, the band shoves its blackened thrash down your sorry throat. In short, you’ll get bitter bursts of manic and totally bleak and grimy energy. And the record will do that to you, if you want it, or not.
In a way, Hammer The Bastards is as unpretentious as they come. There’s no shred of the dreaded label that screams ‘entitled’ to the audience. No trace of elitism seems to exist in Wolfbastard‘s dark and dreary mutual soul. You’re getting the raw sentiments, the lust for revenge that manifests itself in razor-sharp pieces of red-hot Black Metal. A tremolo fest that will make your ears bleed profusely if you turn up the volume too much.
Yet again, the aforementioned lack of ornaments also means that the record sports a serious case of the repetition bug. There ain’t much in terms of innovation. Instead, you get a piece that seems to be cut from that very same cloth that bands like Darkthrone already used before with Master Kilmister winking from the grave. Or is that really so? Boundaries blur when bloody action runs rampant.
But whatever this may be and by the stuff it struts, Hammer The Bastards is more homogenous in its approach than it ever will be progressive. Abject and unbridled ire doesn’t quite allow for a ton of variation nor does it encourage civilized conversation, now does it? And its mighty roar needs a huge and unfiltered outlet. And this is what the record provides, and beautifully so.
So, in a way, the ungodly hammering here often feels like a roll of concertina wire that scrapes along your skin with the drill sergeant screaming in your ears at 500 dB. An experience unlike any other. No mercy, just raw emotion that comes with an avalanche of crudely shaped, crusty Black Metal. Delivered by dudes on a mission with a trve punk mindset and sick fantasies stuck to their frontal lobes.
In other words, you bargain for a world of metallic hurt and no way to get out of Dodge until the last nasty note screeches to a halt. So, think carefully if you really want to hit play or not. But if you’re in it for the fun, it’s gonna be brutal and brutally delicious. A nasty chunk o’ rough-hewn and badly refined ore. But one for the trve metalhead looking for a piece of harsh and unbridled metal delights. So, don your crash helmet and go for it, if you dare.
In the end however, Hammer The Bastards helped with anger management over here. The band said that the record should incite me to grab a beer, and then look for a fight. Well, it was the other way around. Black fury was running rampant with violent thoughts and all. But then Wolfbastard came around and calmed all that down. That is when I finally had that beer to wet that parched throat. It helped, all good now, and my thanks to Dr. Bastard.
Ed’s note: Fancy more juicy wolf stories that won’t clobber you into submission? Albeit in a totally different metal genre. If so, have some Amoth.