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Hellhammer - Apocalyptic Raids
Review: Innovation that could scarcely be recognized as such, Hellhammer crafted metal from broken elements of extremely minimalist metal and punk songs, building an environment of intensity through engagingly simple rhythms which carried confrontational basic viral conflit to its conclusion. Take for example the three-chord epic Massacra and the realm of implication created through its primitive, crudely appropriate atmosphere.
Guitar drones through simple riffs taking the riding style of Motorhead and applying it to dark and conclusive yet indefinite chord progressions to generate the most granular dark riffs possible. These are repeated in piece variations on the verse chorus structure, with the genius of Hellhammer being how to use two-chord variations of major riffs to hold down sizeable structural territory in each song.
Vocals are over-the-top, gasped out and dramatized performance that adds a nature of ludicrousness to this paradox: a rock n roll uptempo cruising surflike environment spawns the vile wretching of darkness, evident and obscure simultaneously. Simple rock style percussion contains subsections of song divided by guitar variation, with droning counterpoints emphasizing peaks of slowness.
Like much of the black metal to follow it, this is merciless material that will repeat simple themes for effect in seemingly interminable meta-phrases. Its weird structures support simplicity and rise to complexity as contrasted with increasingly oppositional internal mirrors of other major song themes, layered in the mind as the shifting verse-chorus patterns passing through with characteristic black metal bridges using punk-style rhythms to carry through a power chord connection.
Much of the ideas here innovated the changes in black metal to come: the tempo changes taking bouncing energy into dark battery, elemental connective structures bent from two two finger chords, methods of alternating riff variations, and the infectious rhythm of virus brought from drone to almost hardcore punk levels of reactive energy.