Witches Hammer – Damnation Is My Salvation

After a string of EP’s and demos in the 80’s and some compilations in recent years and building a cult following Vancouver shredders Witches Hammer have reactivated to release their first proper album “Damnation Is My Salvation”.

Most notably drumming up interest for the band is main axeman Marco Banco who was once a member of Canadian black/death metal warlords Blasphemy and the fact that he played on their debut masterpiece “Fallen Angel Of Doom” he is also a member of Tyrants Blood.

“Damnation Is my Salvation” in short goes straight for the throat, there is no messing about on this record. In 31 minutes the band blasts through 8 tracks. 3 songs are re-recorded classics while the other 5 are new. All the songs meld together perfectly though you would never guess. Each track is memorable and infectious, for example 'Solar Winds'. The main riff on this song is so catchy and where the song is under 3 minutes it leaves you wanting more. The title track paces things out a little more with some more doomy parts. The 3 older tracks 'Within The Halls', 'Frozen God' & 'Witches Hammer' sound as fresh and as evil as ever. Each tracks leaps to the next and it’s over before you know it and you want to play it again straight away.

Sound wise think Blasphemy with a raw thrash vibe in the vein of Morbid Saint and early Dark Angel. I know right? Fucking awesome! However, I know I’m going to contradict myself slightly but stick with me. The thing I feel that lets this album down is its production. It’s raw but not in a good way, it sound like well like an old black metal demo! Now I’ve seen it praised for that and I know you are probably thinking well if I like Blasphemy, Dark Angel etc. and those albums are raw as hell I get you but those albums were recorded 30 plus years ago and on a shoe string budget. To put things in perspective when listening to this in my car, I normally listen to an album with the volume level at 12 when I’m really rocking it goes to 14 and that’s loud. I listen to this album at 17 just to hear the vocals. Anyway it’s a small peeve but a peeve none the less. That aside it’s fucking amazing.

The riffing on this album is impeccable, the solos are razor sharp and they are actually pretty accessible. This is an underground release but put this out on Nuclear Blast with a nice glossy cover (and production) and all the hot topic wankers would have a fit. Anyway, you can’t go wrong with this.

4 / 5 STARS 


1. Across Azeroth
2. Solar Winds
3. Damnation Is My Salvation
4. Within The Halls
5. Frozen God
6. Witches Hammer
7. Deadly Mantis
8. Nine Pillars