Band: Demolition Hammer
Album: Tortured Existence
Country Of Origin: United States of America
Release Date: September 1990
Label: Century Media Records
1. .44 Caliber Brain Surgery 00:00
2. Neanderthal 04:30
3. Gelic Remains 09:34
4. Crippling Velocity 14:58
5. Infectious Hospital Waste 20:45
6. Hydrophobia 25:47
7. Paracidal Epitaph 28:57
8. Mercenary Aggression 34:27
9. Cataclysm 37:53
Total length: 43:40
Bands like Exodus and Slayer wish they had the intensity that Demolition Hammer had on this record. This band might not have been nearly as big as the aforementioned bands, but they didn't lack any of the catchiness or violent energy to be at the top of the thrash scene; they just showed up too late. Around the time "Tortured Existence" hit the metal underground, a lot of thrash bands were already fading out or completely changing their sounds to appeal to a wider mainstream audience (hopping on the groove metal train or even going nu-metal), but not Demolition Hammer. This group could have hopped on the death metal bandwagon of the early '90s, but instead released some of the most savage thrash ever, right up there with bands like Kreator, Morbid Saint, Dark Angel and Sadus.
Listening to these 9 tracks will almost guarantee a headbanging marathon. From the insane opener ".44 Caliber Brain Surgery" to the closing monster "Cataclysm," there will be several moments throughout that will make you want to awaken your inner neanderthal and fuck everything in sight up. ".44 Caliber Brain Surgery" and "Crippling Velocity" are definitely the two most violent songs on "Tortured Existence," as they effortlessly blend ferocious thrash riffage that is beyond fast with heavy, crushing passages for maximum chaos to ensue. In addition to being speed freaks, the band also provides plenty of music that simply destroys. "Neanderthal" and "Gelid Remains" feature stomping riffs that could be rated on the richter scale. The guitarists for this album also like to duel each other when it comes to the solos. Every song has plenty of back and forth solos that range from shredders to complete whammyfests, and they add just a little more awesome to each track.
In addition to being varied with their guitar aesthetics, Demolition Hammer is much more than just a brutal thrash act, because their music is entirely memorable. "Infectious Hospital Waste" just might be one of the catchiest thrash songs ever recorded, and the breakdown of the song sends chills down my spine every single time. There are terrific gang (riot) vocals throughout this album, and the listener can't help but shout along with them because they're that damn catchy. Vinny Daze's stellar performance behind the kit also propelled this record's music to another plateau, as the drumming pushed the riffage and tempo far and beyond at points. In addition to providing some decimating vocals, Steve Reynolds also brings some low-end heaviness with his bass playing. The bass tone is thick and monstrous, making its presence felt all the time; "Paracidal Epitaph" and "Cataclysm" both feature some great playing from the brilliant frontman. "Tortured Existence" is definitely one of the most violent thrash albums to ever be released and is a record that I can always come back to and enjoy time and time again. There aren't many thrash albums that I prefer to this one and very few top it, and surprisingly the band would top it with their next skull-fracturing release.
".44 Caliber Brain Surgery"
"Infectious Hospital Waste"
- Nightmare_Reality, August 12th, 2012
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