Gallhammer

Ill Innocence

Peaceville Records 2007

A lot of hype has been surrounding this band as of late and I suspect a lot of it has to do with the fact that Gallhammer is comprised of three Japanese women.  However that does a complete disservice to the music these artists have managed to create.  Boasting a production that is as dry as the desert plains, Gallhammer have returned with a stronger and more diverse sound.  Still retaining their crusty black metal roots as their core sound they have incorporated a large dose of doom within their ever increasing catalogue of styles and skills.  The album starts off with the plodding At the Onset of the Age of Despair which wields a main riff that would have done early Paradise Lost proud.  Through the use of clean vocals on tracks like Delerious Daydreamer and Ashes World.  Gallhammer have added a more haunting and dreamy quality to their music.  Blind My Eyes is the most glaringly up to date song with its incredibly heavy main bass line and odd and catchy clean vocal squeaks courtesy of drummer Risa Reaper.  This song has also worked its way into my heart as my favorite from Ill Innocence.  On several tracks such as Slog and Last Scary Dream you can detect a style not at all dissimilar to the dry and doomy simplicity of recent Earth material.  And the biggest contrast between the old and the new is on Ripper the Gloom with its lazy summer afternoon acoustic guitar opening passage that hides the upcoming freight train of crust punk fury that steams forward at the two minute mark.  With Ill Innocence, Gallhammer prove once again that they are not a novelty but a force within the underground that will slaughter all opposition.  This is an album devoid of hope and oppressive in its overwhelming sense of despair.  Gallhammer have grown and matured and added more weapons into their arsenal which makes them all the more deadly.