Gallhammer
Ill Innocence

Nocturno Culto did the mastering of Gallhammer’s debut album, Ill Innocence, so says the press release. I thought their debut album Gloomy Lights was several years back. In any case, three people with no musical experience and no idea how to play their chosen instruments band together to make raw, primal, blackened doom, sound familiar? Hellhammer went on to greatness, as we all know, and spawned a very long list of imitators that went on to define their own niche, and many more that never got past the tribute phase. Which do we have here?

When I picked up Gloomy Lights, this Japanese band impressed me with their heaviness, the loud bass, and the raspy growls that must be words but I’m not quite sure. Not intense, or precise, or moody, just loud, raw, noisy, dirty, in your face, would be great opening act type music. The impression was short lived. When Ill Innocence arrived in the mail, the name rang a bell, but I had to spin the disc to really recall the sound; slow, loud, heavy blackened doom. “At the onset of the age of despair” opens the album and led me to believe more of the same, moderate heartbeat increase ensued.

“Blind my eyes” really jumps in your face with the Minnie Mouse squeaks for backing vocals. In a way this fits right in because the whole point is in your face obnoxiousness so these backing mouse calls fit right in, but they are about as easy to tolerate as David Coverdale singing for Rush instead of Geddy Lee. Clean mumbling vocals on “Delirious Daydreamer” works perfectly if you know the name of the song. “Song of fall” creates a somber mood with minimal notes. “Ashes World” starts with clean clear singing, and then venomous but still clearly enunciated vocals kick in to accompany ponderously slow music. The closing song is “Last Scary Dream”, with almost no vocals. Of note is that many of the song titles are slightly different on the promo cd and on the website, for example, “Ashes World” is “World to be Ashes”. The promo also has no artwork, which led me to the website to download the cover art. The website is almost as minimalist as the music. Ultimately another forgettable album by another forgettable band that hopefully can find their niche someday soon. Now I think I will go spin some Warhammer.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Grimulfr
October 21st, 2007

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