The raw and ravenous air of Iron Storm Evocation, the debut full length offering from Finnish black metalers Neutron Hammer, belies what an addictive little beast it is. It is not a release which arguably lingers long after its departure in ear and mind but in its company it is a festering stomp of an album to fall in league with and enjoy thoroughly.
Formed in 2003, the quartet from Kuusankoski has released a demo and two EPs in its nine year existence as well as being a constant on the local gigging front. To be honest not much else is known or easily found out about the band though with the release of Iron Storm Evocation through Primitive Reaction, Neutron Hammer might just become a name in the thoughts of many more extreme metal fans as its bestial charms and filth coated infection corrupts ears.
The album instantly has its hands around the throat of attention with opener Sodomorgia and its rampant charging energy and insistent presence. The track is a storm of eager greedy riffs and guttural groans alongside bile soaked vocals brought on a wall of harsh rhythms to leave one punch drunk. Though the song does not standout especially the great cantankerous bass sound is a real highlight.
From the strong start things are instantly elevated by the following Devastation Ritual which sets the tone for the majority of the rest of the album. A tempest of senses churning riffs and a groove surely inspired by the Batman theme sends the ear into rapture, its keen energy and intent the first seed of the growing contagion the album achieves. As with all the release, the song has a dirty coating to its sound which enhances its shadows and intense air though it never deflects from the strong elements at play, like the sonic guitar melodies burning in this song.
The likes of Death Throne and Contaminated Graves offer a fine continuation of quality if they do not quite find the riches of the previously mentioned track, though songs such as War Fucking War and Mass Murder March easily return the release to full strength. The first is a predatory brute complete with Dead Kennedys like hooks and grooves within its prowling blackened consumption. The irresistible combination makes for a fully infectious and persistent niggle to welcome openly. It stands as the best track on the album though there are some serious rivals to the latter part of the album. The second of the pair is a thumping brawl of thunderous rhythms and twisting riffs within an instrumental body which simply captures the imagination.
The album ends on a high with a trio of songs in Preacher of Blasphemy, Apocalyptic Rites, and Menstrual Mass. The first two challenge for top honours on the release as well as offering another dimension to the sound of the band which should be noted as though under the overall black metal/rock n roll umbrella, does offer good variation throughout. The first of the pair has a keener classic rock/metal feel though still distinctly in its base genre and with good thrash guided riffs is nothing but pure satisfaction whilst the other song is a rampant punk infused uproar upon the ear. A riotous energy with excellent garage punk vocals additions, it again leaves only great pleasure in its blistering wake.
Ending with the intriguing and enterprising slower doom feel of Menstrual Mass, the album is a find all extreme metals fans should have on their near horizon. It is not without flaws though most of those actually add to the experience rather than detract. It has taken nine years to get to this album, let us hope Neutron Hammer come at us much sooner next time as one senses there is definitely something special in their future.
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