FISTHAMMER — Devour All You See (review)

FISTHAMMER — Devour All You See album cover Album · 2012 · Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Standing apart from the recent resurgence of old school death metal are bands like Fisthammer out of USA that attempt to bring about new innovations in the genre, with their debut full length album Devour All You See not only containing highly polished production qualities, but also the infusion of a whole host of elements that makes it hard to really classify the band into a particular genre, though at the heart of it all the band's main influences are drawn from death metal.

And this is immediately apparent right from the opening intro track The Final Hour of Darkness, complete with heavy synths, a prelude to the destruction that is to follow. The album begins proper with Razorwaves, and the crisp production quality instantly captivates the listener, with all the instruments sounding out clearly and crushing the listener under a wall of noise. The music on Devour All You See is heavy and crushing, yet unlike your usual death metal band that focusses almost solely on brutality, Fisthammer oftentimes incorporate large hooks and melodies in their riffing styles such as on Bullet Raped, and this certainly helps in grabbing the attention of fans of the more melodic style of death metal and thrash metal. Songs like Berserkers and Doom of the Gods could almost sound as if it come off a melodic death metal album, with the latter containing an Amon Amarth feel, albeit with a heavier and more brutal touch to it.

The ability of Fisthammer to draw listeners in is also shown through their songwriting abilities, where instead of having a full-on blasting album, there are moments when the band takes a suitable slow down to slowly build the tension. Kull the Conqueror is one such track where the track opens with acoustic guitars, with the band biding their time in creating a high tension atmosphere. The crushing moments on the album such as the slow and heavy parts towards the end of Aten: Fear of the Obliteration of Earth even brings to mind such Polish acts as Behemoth and the likes, with vocalist Greg bearing quite a strong resemblance to Nergal.

As already mentioned, one of the other main things that made Devour All You See particularly charming is the clean production quality of the album, where each instrument is clearly heard through the mix. In particular, the lead guitar tone cuts through the underlying chaos, allowing guitarist Max to really display his chops, and this is especially enjoyable on tracks like Aten: Fear the Obliteration of Earth where there is a long guitar solo in the middle of the track that shows the somewhat eccentric lead guitar style of Max. The drumming of Danny is also stellar here, with the sharp and precise hits, and this certainly came as a surprise, considering how the work on his other band, On Top did not particularly leave a lasting impression whatsoever. Devour All You See is definitely a high quality release from a relatively young band, and the high quality tracks contained on the album would certainly leave fans of all things melodic and/or brutal craving for more.

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