I’m going to give you fair warning: Before you listen to The Hammer Doctrine, you need seat belts on and a shoulder harness strapped down. A crash helmet and an oxygen mask would also be good ideas. And if you’ve got access to a defibrillator and a friend who knows how to use it, you may be glad to have them close by, too. Because this album is as vicious as a rabid dog and flies somewhere between the speed of a jet fighter and the pace of a ballistic missile reaching escape velocity.
The Hammer Doctrine is the debut album from Poland’s Ragehammer, and in advance of its April 8 release by Pagan Records we’re giving you the chance to have your face seared off by it (I forgot to mention that you’ll also want to be wearing an asbestos mask before you press play).
Seriously, Ragehammer are really fast — the technical skill and dexterity of all the musicians is close to jaw-dropping, and the vocalist spits words (in venomous snarls and blistering shrieks) as fast as his bandmates assault their instruments. And their taste in music, which gives them free reign to blaze away like a furnace, favors blackened thrash and speed metal. You really don’t get any chance to catch your breath as this album careens ahead until you reach a breakdown on the fourth track (“Warlord’s Fall”) — but when you hit that point you may be headbanging too hard to gulp air anyway.