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Review: Gallhammer - The Dawn Of...
The Dawn Of...

Label: Peaceville Records
Year released: 2007
Duration: 47:59
Tracks: 12
Genre: Doom/Black

Rating: 3.25/5

Review online: April 3, 2007
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
The Dawn Of...

Rated 3.21/5 (64.29%) (14 Votes)

I'm sure a lot of people had the same reaction I did when I first saw this band's name: Gimmick! If that doesn't scream "female Hellhammer worship", I don't know what does. So the Japanese trio is now signed to Peaceville, and the first release is this CD/DVD set. The DVD is what you can expect in such a package - very good to medium quality bootlegs. The main feature has the best quality, while the other live stuff varies quite a bit. A small photo gallery completes the package. I must say the live shows totally bored me - they're hardly "live" in that the band looks bored, if not dead on stage, although they do have their moments where they actually look alive and seem to enjoy themselves for a short period. Based on this alone, if they ever tour around here, I wouldn't be in attendance. Freaky moment, at some point I thought my cat had hurt herself and was screaming and I jumped right on my feet, but it turns out it was the drummer who had started... "singing". Chipmunk galore. I don't know what the hell they were thinking here, but either take that microphone away or just shoot her and use a drum machine. Damn. This makes you appreciate the fast forward feature, believe me.

The CD is essential is compilation of demo and rehearsal recordings, while we wait for the upcoming full length this summer. Basically the band plays very raw, first generation Black Metal that is of course not without reminding one of Hellhammer as well as a few other raw-to-the-bone Black Metal bands followed in their steps. I found Gallhammer's material to be a lot more "doom" sounding, with a focus on slow speed and heaviness, more so than Hellhammer which focused on much faster songs. There are a few faster, even rocky songs in here, but they are in the minority. The vocals are of the agonizing style, halfway between Varg Vikernes' insane screams and the deeper, "throaty" style more commonly used by Black Metal bands. I found the style is hit or miss depending on the songs - sometimes it really fits the songs, while at other times it's downright annoying. Even in this very raw and basic style, the vocal work could be better (but maybe better produced material will help fix the shortcomings.) One sure thing is that it's not worth trying to decipher what the hell they are saying.

There are enough good songs here to make this sound good overall, even though some of the songs are poor. I can't help but think gimmick every time I see the band's name, and I wouldn't be surprised if the "three Japanese girls" card ends up being played to death in the promotion. But based on the music alone, there's good potential here, enough to keep an eye out for that full length whenever it comes out. In the meantime, if you don't mind demo-grade material (and you shouldn't if you're into this genre anyway), then this is worth picking up if the price is right.

Other related information on the site
Review: Ill Innocence (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
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