Hellhammer was the Venom-inspired beast/band of future Celtic Frost members Tom Fischer and Martin Ain. The band was formed using the name Hammerhead in Nurensdorf in 1982. The band was clearly influenced by an English black metal band called Venom, as well as acts like Angel Witch and Black Sabbath. The band's first drummer was Bruce Day whose real name was Joerg Neubart. A guitarist called Vince "Dei Infernal" Garetti and a drummer called mike Owens came and went. The band issued demo tapes called Death Fiend and Triumph Of Death - without knowing how to play its instruments - and would soon be hailed as underground wonders. Satanic Slaughter would sometimes be the guitarist and sometimes the bassist. Things began to roll when bassist Martin Ain joined the maelstrom. Hellhammer was 'managed' by the in-house Prowling Death Management. The band's infamous sound and wild looks attracted the attention of Karl Walterbach at Noise Records who signed the band and featured them on the Death Metal compilation. The result was the Apocalyptic Raids EP. The result was nigh on revolutionary. The band had taken extremity to a new plateau.
The band would soon be reborn as the equally wild Celtic Frost, but the short-lived Hellhammer would influence acts for years to come.
The band’s demos Death Fiend/Triumph Of Death and Satanic Rites were issued on a CD entitled Demon Entrails by Century Media in the spring of 2008. Only Death Is Real: An Illustrated History Of Hellhammer And Early Celtic Frost was also coming out at the same time. Thomas Gabriel Fischer and Bazillion Points Books announced a release date of November, 2009 as the publication date for Only Death Is Real: An Illustrated History Of Hellhammer And Early Celtic Frost. It was compiled by Fischer in cooperation with band bassist Martin Eric Ain. In a blog comment, Fischer also claimed to have relinquished all financial interest in the bands’ catalogue henceforth in order to escape his former colleagues.
HELLHAMMER – DEMON ENTRAILS – CENTURY MEDIA
Hellhammer, as is famously known, went on to transform into Celtic Frost, was a true trailblazer in its own right and alongside Venom and Mercyful Fate, which had influenced it one of the fathers of European black metal. Demon Entrails is a release of the Swiss band’s three demos, Satanic Rites, Death Fiend and Triumph Of Death.
While the music is of little consequence in absolute terms, its style, sound and early noisy power coupled with its Satanic and extreme lyrics would form the basis of much that would follow. With distortion to the max, evil get-up and a cacophonous set-up Hellhammer sidestepped its lack of musical knowledge through sheer innovative underground spirit. No wonder the band’s name lives on, the music is cited often and the group’s service to metal often (nowadays anyway) lauded. Song titles like Satanic Rites, Crucifixion, Revelation Of Doom and hammerhead show the profound influence of Venom on the act and subsequently was picked up by acts like Sepultura, Mayhem, Morbid Angel and more. When intros and outros are subverted from songs proper, and names like Satanic Slaughter are bandied about then the world of 1983 pays attention.
This CD is naturally and by nature a money grab and another attempt to deny the underground its status, but still needs a seventy-point mark for all the above-mentioned reasons. The CDs come in different format and feature recordings and liner notes special to this commercial release. – Ali “The Metallian”