The mega-doom project, SHRINEBUILDER, made their U.S. live debut this month at The Viper Room in West Hollywood. The band, consisting of Scott Kelly (NEUROSIS), Scott “Wino” Weinrich (ST. VITUS, THE OBSESSED), Al Cisneros (OM, SLEEP), and Dale Crover (MELVINS), performed two full sets that night, including a cover of JOY DIVISION‘s “24 Hours“.
GALLHAMMER is a most unique musical entity consisting of a trio of Japanese girls with only death and hopelessness on their mind. Dressed like crusty, black metal vixens, these unsuspecting ladies serve up an unfiltered blend of only the most primitive, HELLHAMMER-inspired nastiness on their second album, Ill Innocence. GALLHAMMER summons the nihilistic, punkified, black metal grimness of Norwegian black metallers, DARKTHRONE (who themselves can be traced back to HELLHAMMER), on tracks “Killed by the Queen” and the awesome “Speed of Blood.” They capture the authentic cold and stale black metal sound with blast beats, grinding riffs, suicidal screams, and raw production. Elsewhere, they perfect the doom and gloom of Swiss purveyors, HELLHAMMER (obviously their main musical influence). Song ideas are very, very simple, but Tokyo’s GALLHAMMER steer clear of sounding like high-school beginners. Quite interestingly, in fact, is that their songs draw influences from various “indie” or post-punk musical nebulas. “Delirium Daydream” could resemble the early, unpolished works of anyone from JOY DIVISION to PJ Harvey. Of course that may be hard to envision given the band’s (black) metal roots. More appropriately relative would be Justin K. Broadrick (JESU/GODFLESH), in which the dreamy epic, “Slog,” is very reminiscent of (save for the blasting interlude). Though GALLHAMMER are clearly very singular in their musical approach, they succeed by assembling basic ideas effectively and unexpectedly. If you tire of dense, over-the-top ridiculousness, invert your diet with a sampling of Ill Innocence. (Peaceville)