GALLHAMMER: Hammer of the Girls

All-girl groups in metal are rare and are typically limited to mall-friendly crap like KITTIE or DRAIN STH. One all-girl group, however, has arisen from an unsuspecting place with an unsuspecting sound. Tokyo’s GALLHAMMER combine the raw sounds of HELLHAMMER proto black metal, AMEBIX crust punk, and subtle new wave/alternative influences. Most importantly, the band have taken these influences and created a unique expression of darkness that is both exciting and fresh. APESHIT got in touch with vocalist/bassist Vivian Slaughter to find out more about this young band and the ominous meaning behind their use of the color white.

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GALLHAMMER – Ill Innocence

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)

SIGH Complete Recording of Seventh Studio Album, Hangman’s Hymn

Japan’s SIGH have completed recording their seventh studio album titled Hangman’s Hymn – Musikalische Exequien at Studio Moopies with engineer Takamichi Osada.  The album is currently in the mixing stages, and is set for a 2007 release through The End Records.

Frontman Mirai Kawashima comments on the album:

SIGH have finished recording the new album Hangman’s Hymn and have started the mixing process. Hopefully it will be done in a month or so. The album has 10 tracks, but all the songs are connected to each other so closely that this can be taken as one track that lasts for 45 minutes.

“It is turning out to be a very heavy, fast and symphonic album. It is a fusion of sophisticated theories of classical music and the primitive power of heavy metal rhythms!”

The album also features some guest appearances by Aurielle Gregory (GIANT SQUID), Tim Conroy (ex-GIANT SQUID), Steven Sagala (ENFORSAKEN), and others.

The final tracklisting for the album is:

1. “Introitus/Kyrie
2. “Inked in Blood
3. “Me-Devil

4. “Dies Irae/The Master Malice
5. “The Memories as a Sinner
6. “Death with Dishonor
7. “In Devil’s Arms

8. “Overture/Rex Tremendae/I saw the World’s End
9. “Salvation in Flame/Confutatis
10. “Finale: Hangman’s Hymn/In Paradisum/Das Ende

Check out a pre-production quality medley of material from the forthcoming album here: