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'Built For War'
Release Date: Friday 28th August

Johnny Main

johnny main


Israeli based thrash Metal band Hammercult were founded in 2010 and have become highly regarded as the leading extreme Metal band of the Israeli Metal movement in the 2000s and this is an album choc full of fist pumping songs that any European or US thrash band would be proud to call their own.

‘Spoils Of War' is a great example of the full on thrashing the band are capable of. This band don't need to waste time in slushy ballads and downbeat acoustic numbers but thrive on producing the heaviest fastest Metal tracks they can. During the chorus, you can just imagine the audience at a gig throwing their fists rhythmically in the air as the band pile through the song.

When it comes to 'Ready To Roll', from just heading the title you know is going to be a great song. I certainly wasn't disappointed with it, and I'm sure you won't be either. If you want to dip your toe in the water and test out the band then this is the track for you – it's fast, furious and a lot of fun.

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In comparison, 'From Parts Unknown' is really the introduction to the first proper track, 'Rise Of The Hammer', with an almost classical music feel to it which absolutely sets you up for the brutality and heaviness of the following song. 'Rise Of The Hammer' has drummer Maayan Henik setting out an astonishing beat whist the vocals from Yakir Shochat come through clear and strong. They're the ideal opener for gigs when taken as a pair and the fist punching chorus section that sounds like it includes some keyboards or synthesised guitars added to the mix which almost envelope the overall sound of the track before the short but technical guitar solo kicks in.

'I Live For This Shit' is another high octane number with Shochat really stretching his voice. The guitars sound gives an extra sheen to the track but not at the expense of the overall sound of the track. The guitars, courtesy of Guy Ben David and Yuval Kramer lead the way during 'Blackened Blade' before taking a back seat to the Shochat's vocals. The guitar solo is another excellent performance on what can be describe as a more sedate paced number compared to some of the other tracks here.


'Ode To Ares' has a distinctly Scottish flair to its intro with bagpipes and Celtic drumming coming across as as a lone female voice talks quietly in the background. This respite doesn't last long though, as the track suddenly bursts into 'Altar Of Pain'. With an intro very reminiscent of Iron Maiden, when the drums and vocals kick in, it becomes a different beast altogether. The guitar riff is maintained throughout, but the relentless drumming from Henik and another excellent vocal performance from Shochat take this gig above anything Maiden have produced in the last decade.

The icing on the cake here though must be 'Saturday Night Circle Pit Fight' from which the main guitar riff owes a debt to Motorhead. One of the fastest songs on the album, it quickly became a favourite of mine, so much so that I've added it to my September 2015 playlist and I pretty much guarantee it'll be there for some months to come. The guitar solo may be on the short side but it's still very but impressive whilst Shochat gives, by far, his most accomplished performance.

This may be the band's third full length album, but on the strength of this I'm happy to seek out their two previous releases and they've joined my "To See Live" list, so I'm hoping that the band are planning a European/UK tour to support this release because having glimpsed their stage show on YouTube, they seem every bit as fun live as they do on CD.

You can watch a teaser video for the 'Built For War' album here:

'Built For War' Tracklist:
From Parts Unknown
Rise Of The Hammer
I Live For This Shit
Spoils Of War
Ready To Roll
Raise Some Hell
Blackened Blade
Let It Roar
Ode To Ares (Interlude)
Altar Of Pain
Blood And Fire
Saturday Night Circle Pit Fight
Road To Hell

Hammercult are:
Yakir Shochat – Vocals
Guy Ben David – Guitars
Yuval Kramer – Guitars
Elad Manor – Bass Guitar
Maayan Henik – Drums

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