Look up the word intransigence and it comes up with a meaning of stubbornly refusing to compromise. Add the word hammer and you have all the clues and information needed going into the new EP from New Zealand death metalers Heresiarch. Consisting of six destructive and highly uncompromising slabs of aural muscle Hammer of Intransigence, released via Dark Descent is a merciless and oppressive onslaught on the senses, a bestial corruption upon the ear.
Heresiarch’s previous demo Obsecrating the Global Holocaust ruptured more than a few eager ears but with Hammer of Intransigence the quartet have pushed up the intensity and aural assault as they mercilessly thrust their venomous hatred filled sounds forcibly and deeply into all those willing or unknowingly standing in their way. Listening to the EP will be a certain challenge for many, casualties guaranteed but as equally as it is violent and painful to take even over the brief 22 minutes of noise, it is also hypnotic as riff upon threatening riff and rhythm upon punishing rhythm rampage upon the ear. Like a giant suction cup it draws one into the black bitter maelstrom of evil intent and unrelenting abuse.
As this is being written ears are ringing, blood virtually seeping and senses beating a hasty retreat into the safe arms of numbness. There is no respite within the walls of Hammer of Intransigence and no lessening of its spiteful colossal intensity and determination to fully consume its victims. The EP is about a bleak and destructive outcome for man, the portrayal of a forthcoming apocalypse and the music the soundtrack to this hellish cataclysm, as stark and black as the vision. There is no warmth or light, just cold threatening and unrelenting oppression in sound and theme; if you are looking for a melody or a slither of uplifting brightness than turn back before opening the EP’s dark depth.
Each song is a force of incapacitating sonic noise, a wall of sound that has the only intent of leaving one a shell shocked victim. Opening intro ‘Abomination’ is the warning, its siren sound over animalistic and predatory noises a forewarning though it does not really give a hint to the tsunami of aural pain to come with ‘Carnivore’ and beyond. Incessant drums and blast beats, machete like riffs, and an unrelenting flesh ripping velocity overwhelm with any thought of pacing themselves absent. The set up and determination is the same from track to track, from the release’s two most impressive tracks ‘Iconoclasm’ and ‘Thunorrad’ through to the closing atmospheric stalk of ‘Intransigent’ it is about nonstop consummation of the senses.
Whether Hammer of Intransigence will feature on many Album of the Year Lists is probably doubtful but it is certainly one more than decent album and for all into primal and all consuming sounds this is a must check out release. Heresiarch have made an album that despite its agonising effect at times does draw you back to it even if you run shy for safer climes more often than not.