Resurrection Of The Flesh

rating icon 8.5 / 10

Track listing:

01. The Third Of The Storms (Evoked Damnation)
02. Massacra
03. Maniac
04. Blood Insanity
05. Decapitator
06. Crucifixion
07. Reaper
08. Horus/Aggressor
09. Revelations Of Doom
10. Messiah
11. Visions Of Mortality
12. Triumph Of Death

When HELLHAMMER first emerged and terrified the metal establishment, they were routinely mocked as an unlistenable abomination. What critics and cynics failed to understand then — as indeed many continue to fail to understand today — is that an unlistenable abomination was exactly what heavy music needed. The enduring influence of Tom G. Warrior's first band of note is beyond debate at this point. Without those early HELLHAMMER demos and the subsequent, seminal "Apocalyptic Raids" EP, it is hard to imagine extreme metal existing in the same form(s) that it does in the present day.

VENOM and Warrior's next band CELTIC FROST aside, nobody has had a greater or more lasting impact on underground heavy music. Every black and death metal band worth a shiny shit owes at least a part of their carnivorous DNA to the teenage Swiss trio. Once mocked for their untutored cacophony, HELLHAMMER are now certified legends and "Resurrection Of The Flesh" is a thrilling tribute to everything they stood for. Assembled by Tom G. Warrior as a suitably gnarly vehicle for performing these songs live for the first time ever, TRIUMPH OF DEATH is clearly another labor of love for the morbid icon.

As with TRIPTYKON's recent dalliance with the CELTIC FROST catalogue, this furious live recording could never hope to recreate the chaotic horror of HELLHAMMER's small but perfectly vile canon, but thanks to the purity of their leader's creative vision, this quartet come admirably close. Pieced together from performances at Hell's Heroes Festival in Houston, Texas, Dark Easter Metal Meeting in Munich, Germany, and SWR Barroselas Metalfest in Portugal, all in the spring of 2023, "Resurrection Of The Flesh" is a scintillating document of a special moment in metal history. TRIUMPH OF DEATH play things straight, grabbing the source material by the throat and shaking it until its eyes pop out. Kicking off with a dizzying triumvirate of "The Third Of The Storm", "Massacra" and "Maniac", this is both an enthralling celebration of some legendary music and a tacit acknowledgement that HELLHAMMER wielded a feral magic that is impossible to reproduce.

There is no denying that TRIUMPH OF DEATH are skilled musicians let loose on some heroically simplistic and brutal songs. Whether it's the grim rock 'n' roll rush of "Revelations Of Doom" or the drawn-out and excruciating sludge of show closer "Triumph Of Death", Warrior's latest recruits play everything tighter, harder and with more precision and polish than was logistically possible for the original HELLHAMMER lineup(s) back in 1983/4. But frosty diehards need not panic, because this contemporary upgrade works and brilliantly so.

A sustained blizzard of riff-driven ugliness, unholy uproar and otherworldly menace, "Resurrection Of The Flesh" is a monstrous, exhilarating gift from Tom G. Warrior to the astute hordes that hang on his every embittered word and deed. It's loud, proud, punk as fuck and, even after 40 years, still considerably more dangerous than 99% of everything else that's going on in metal today. This magnificent abomination endures.

Author: Dom Lawson
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