DEMOLITION HAMMER
Thrash Metal • United States

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Demolition Hammer were a thrash metal band hailing from the Bronx New York. The original line-up consisted of Steve Reynolds, James Reilly, and John Salerno. This line-up would only record one demo together (Skull Fracturing Nightmare, 1988), as the band recruited tattoo artist Vincent Civitano (a.k.a. Vinny Daze, who designed the band's logo) to replace Salerno not long after. They also added second guitarist Derek Sykes to the lineup to add a fuller sound. After the release of another demo tape (Necrology), they were signed by Century Media records after Robert Kampf (from Century Media) was in America for the Foundations Forum, as he attended a rehearsal that also featured Prime Evil.

The band's first two albums, 1990's Tortured Existence and 1992's Epidemic of Violence, illustrate the band's guitar riff-laden, dual lead guitar, blast beat, full-fledged brutal thrash approach. Shortly after the release of the latter, Reynolds and Sykes decided
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DEMOLITION HAMMER Discography

DEMOLITION HAMMER albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 4.39 | 4 ratings
Tortured Existence
Thrash Metal 1990
.. Album Cover 3.84 | 7 ratings
Epidemic of Violence
Thrash Metal 1992
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Time Bomb
Thrash Metal 1994

DEMOLITION HAMMER EPs & splits

DEMOLITION HAMMER live albums

DEMOLITION HAMMER demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

.. Album Cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Skull Fracturing Nightmare
Thrash Metal 1988
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Necrology
Thrash Metal 1989
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Epidemic Of Violence (Promo)
Thrash Metal 1992

DEMOLITION HAMMER boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Necrology: A Complete Anthology
Thrash Metal 2008

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DEMOLITION HAMMER Reviews

DEMOLITION HAMMER Epidemic of Violence

Album · 1992 · Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"Epidemic of Violence" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US, New York, Bronx based thrash metal act Demolition Hammer. The album was released through Century Media Records in March 1992. "Epidemic of Violence" features the same lineup who recorded "Tortured Existence (1990)". Demolition Hammer achieved some success with their debut album and did a European tour with Obituary and Morgoth to support the album. They were a relatively known act on the extreme metal scene in those days, but while they were often touring with death metal artists and sometimes referred too as a death metal act (probably as a concequence of the dark and brutal Scott Burns production on their debut album), the truth is they just played a very aggressive and brutal type of thrash metal.

Death/thrash is probably not the worst description of their style, but on "Epidemic of Violence", they actually lean more towards the thrash metal side of their sound. The music features good rhytmic variation, razor sharp thrashy riffing, aggressive raw vocals (and the occasional riot gang vocal shout), and blistering guitar solos. References to artists like 90s Carcass and late 80s/early 90s Kreator aren´t completely wrong. Predominantly because of the snarling rabid dog vocals, but also occasionally because of the riffing style and the generally high level of aggression in the music. Artists in the brutal, fast-paced, and raw end of the US thrash metal spectrum, like Dark Angel, Slayer, Gammacide, and Devastation, are also valid references.

While the above mentioned rhythmic variation is one of Demolition Hammer´s great assets, and a feature in their music, which ensures that the music is always entertaining, the tracks on "Epidemic of Violence" aren´t always easy to tell apart, and compared to the relatively hook laden debut album, "Epidemic of Violence" is an overall less accessible size. The cold and sterile sound production isn´t helping the album to sound more welcoming, and it is in many ways a very harsh listen, featuring few hooks and a relentlessly aggressive delivery, which could have prospered from an atmosphere change or two during the album´s playing time. Some of the heavy mid-paced parts on tracks like "Human Dissection" and "Carnivorous Obsession" work wonders, but are soon followed by fast-paced and somewhat monotone aggressive thrashy sections. Highlights in addition to the two mentioned tracks are "Pyroclastic Annihilation", "Omnivore", and "Aborticide". The two latter mentioned are absolutely scorching fast-paced thrash metal tracks.

The delivery is convincing and the music is skillfully played, but when evaluating the album as a whole it´s hard to look past the lack of variation between tracks, and the harsh sounding production, which sometimes blurs out what the guitars are playing. "Tortured Existence (1990)" was a brilliant debut album and was always going to be hard to top, and in that light "Epidemic of Violence" is a pretty good sophomore release by Demolition Hammer, but it´s also slightly disappointing that they weren´t able to follow the debut up with another release of the same high songwriting standards. Because that´s where "Epidemic of Violence" is mostly lacking compared to "Tortured Existence (1990)". a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is still more than deserved though (and that might even be a bit too low) and that speaks volumes about what a great band Demolition Hammer were.

DEMOLITION HAMMER Necrology

Demo · 1989 · Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"Necrology" is the 2nd demo release by US thrash metal act Demolition Hammer. Since the release of the "Skull Fracturing Nightmare (1988)" demo, the band have become a four-piece. Original drummer John Salerno has been replaced by Vinny Daze and the band have also added a second guitarist in Derek Sykes. The usual suspects are James Reilly on guitars/riot vocals and Steve Reynolds on Bass/Lead & Riot Vocals. The former performed lead vocals on a couple of tracks on "Skull Fracturing Nightmare (1988)" but on "Necrology" Steve Reynolds sings all lead vocals.

The music on "Necrology" pretty much continues the vicious thrash metal attack of "Skull Fracturing Nightmare (1988)" but it´s even more aggressive and there´s also an added brutal edge, which often earned Demolition Hammer the death/thrash label back then. The decision to let Steve Reynolds sing all lead vocals was a wise decision IMO. He possesses a caustic snarl yet pronounce the words in a way that enables you to catch and understand every phrase. And there are lots to enjoy if you dig into the lyrics. They are actually pretty quirky and evolve around everything from rabis, plague and Neanderthals. All written in a clever way miles ahead of the lyrics of most of their contemporaries. The absolutely adorable lyrics about fear of bacteria (typically associated with Obsessive–compulsive disorder) for "44 Caliber Brain Surgery" (that song title is so successfully tongue in cheek that I smile everytime I read it) takes the prize though. There´s that bizarre yet extremely charming "Carcass" wit about them, that few artists are able to produce.

It´s not only the vocals which are sharp and aggressive, the music certainly follows suit. Nice variation in pace and rythms, fast and intriguing guitar solos and one aggressive and brutal thrashy riff after another. Everything is helped along by a powerful and raw sound production that doesn´t necessarily have demo recording written all over it. In other words a very professional sounding release considering the time it was released.

There are six tracks on the 24:04 minutes long demo. All six tracks would be included on the band´s full-length studio album "Tortured Existence (1990)" in re-recorded versions. These demo versions are pretty close to the studio versions albeit delivered in a slightly more raw and unpolished fashion.

For me to justify giving a demo release a 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating, it has to be something special and "Necrology" certainly is. Excellent musicianship, a personal sound in a genre where many artists have a tendency to sound a lot alike, a powerful and raw sound production that sound better than a lot of studio releases from those days and songwriting to die for. "Necrology" are simply among the elite when it comes to demo releases in the more brutal end of the thrash metal spectrum.

DEMOLITION HAMMER Skull Fracturing Nightmare

Demo · 1988 · Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"Skull Fracturing Nightmare" is the first demo released by US thrash metal act Demolition Hammer. The demo was released in February 1988. At this point the band were a three-piece consisting of James Reilly on guitars/lead & riot vocals, Steve Reynolds on Bass/Lead & Riot Vocals and John Salerno on Drums. Steve Reynolds would eventually become the band´s sole lead vocalist, but on this demo the lead vocal duties are shared between him and James Reilly who sing lead on two tracks each.

The music on "Skull Fracturing Nightmare" is aggressive thrash metal on the brutal side. The playing is fast, tight, fierce and Demolition Hammer generally take no prisoners. Out of the two vocalists I prefer Steve Reynolds. He has the right rabid dog sneering for the music. The band´s trademark riot vocals are present on this demo too providing a slight touch of hardcore to the sound. There are four tracks on the 15:09 minutes long demo. Only "Cataclysm" made it unto the band´s debut full-length studio album "Tortured Existence (1990)" albeit in a shorter and more tight version. The sound production is very good considering that this is a demo.

"Skull Fracturing Nightmare" is a promising demo release and it´s obvious these guys were on to something special already this early on. A 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is warranted.

DEMOLITION HAMMER Time Bomb

Album · 1994 · Thrash Metal
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UMUR
Time Bomb is the 3rd full-length studio album by American thrash metal act Demolition Hammer. The album was released in August 1994 by Century Media Records. Alledgedly the album was recorded with the intention of being released under a new monicker but Century Media Records refused to release the album unless the band opted to use the Demolition Hammer name. The lineup that recorded Time Bomb only featured two of the original members of the band and as there´s a significant change in musical direction compared to the band´s first two albums, the name change might have been a good idea. Guitarist James Reilly left the band after Epidemic of Violence (1992) and so did drummer Vincent "Vinny Daze" Civitano. The latter left the band to pursue a career as a tatoo artist and was said to have considerable talent in that direction. Sadly Vincent "Vinny Daze" Civitano died of Globefish Poisoning in March 1996 after having attended a tatoo convention in Japan. The two remaining members of the original lineup lead vocalist/ bassist Steve Reynolds and guitarist Derek Sykes were joined by drummer Alex Marquez ( who came fresh out of a stint with Malevolent Creation) for the recording of Time Bomb, which was recorded as a trio.

The musical style on the first two Demolition Hammer albums is ripping death/ thrash with fiercely aggressive vocals, riot gang backing vocals and fast paced and screaming guitar soloing. On Time Bomb the band has incorporated a lot more groove into their sound. In addition to that the usually fast-paced death/ thrash assault is mostly replaced with a mid-paced heavy groove, making Time Bomb a kind of brutal and really heavy groove thrash metal album. Another thing that has changed is that Time Bomb has next to no guitar solos, which as mentioned above used to be a dominant part of the band´s sound. Something that hasn´t changed is the fiercely aggressive and sneering vocal delivery by Steve Reynolds. His style is comparable to the sound of vocalists such as Miland "Mille" Petrozza from Kreator and Jeff Walker from Carcass. Does he sound pissed or what? A great feature IMO. With the exception of the Devo cover track Mongoloid, which is pretty good but not on par with the original material on the album, the quality of the material is really high allthough a bit more formulaic than we´re used to from the band. Razor sharp groovy riffing, tight playing and those caustic vocals.

The production is sharp and powerful.

Time Bomb is a great brutal groove/ thrash metal album and while I will probably always prefer the band´s early output to this one, I still find Time Bomb greatly enjoyable. A 3.5 star rating is deserved.

DEMOLITION HAMMER Epidemic of Violence

Album · 1992 · Thrash Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Time Signature
Skull fracturing headbanging...

Genre: thrash metal

This is old school violent, aggressive and brutal thrash metal... the way it should be. Musically, "Epidemic of Violence" is a very aggressive and in your face album with some very fast parts - for instance, "Carnivorous Obsession" contains some really fast drum parts, and there are plenty of quite fast guitar riffs on the album as well. Stylistically, "Epidemic of Violence" draws on various branches of thrash metal, containing a number of Slayer-esque breakdowns, heavier parts akin to "Arise"-era Sepultura, fast parts that remind me of "Ignorance"-era Sacred Reich, some more complex Testament-ish riffs and upbeat rocking Exodus- and Anthrax-like riffs. In short, this album contains a lot of good thrash metal stuff - but it is not as raw or dirty as a lot of Teutonic 80s thrash metal was ("Onmivore" is quite reminiscent of German 80s thrash metal though).

I think that the production is - for lack of a better word - polished (not in the negative sense). The album has a very crisp sound, and it is easy to hear what is going on musically, which I appreciate.

I think that this album would appeal to most fans of thrash metal, since it is somewhat of a thrash metal version of Quality Street chocolates.

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