Hellhammer - Demon Entrails
Century Media
Primitive Blackened Thrash Metal
Disc 1: 12 songs (45:48) Disc 2: 17 songs (56:09)
Release year: 2008
Hellhammer, Century Media
Reviewed by Goat

Looking at the roots of your favourite bands in the (nowadays almost inevitably reissued) demo stage is a dangerous game. It may well be interesting to uncover the process through which the band in question became the Metallic powerhouse that you so respect now, but in the process every stumble, every setback, every fault is laid out. Such is the case with this double-disc release containing Hellhammer’s first three demos. Of course, the band itself was just pretty much Celtic Frost in the demo stage, but even so it’s quite surprising just how primitive and, well, necro the music on Demon Entrails is. This redefines sloppy: the almost random riffs, the chaotic and brutal drumming, and Tom G. ‘Satanic Slaughter’ Warrior’s vocals. This is so raw at points, ladies and gents, that this makes Venom sound like Dream Theater.

Having said that, part of the fun of early Celtic Frost is how raw it is, and if you want more of the same then you won’t find a better place to look. From the fast, Punky Thrash of Messiah to the slow, Doomy grind of Triumph Of Death, this contains the ingredients that would go on to become the Frosty way of life. Listeners familiar enough with Celtic Frost will recognise riffs and vocal phrases from their later albums, and even in their initial stage here they’re used surprisingly well. Examples are frequent, but Revelations Of Doom rocks out as hard as anything the band did later, whilst Satanic Rites is very nearly better.

Of the two CDs in the pack, the first is by far the better, containing the slightly later Satanic Rites demo, which is a massive improvement on the previous two, Death Fiend and Triumph Of Death, both on the second CD. Those are the rawest moments and this is where the Black Metal is, the raw repetition hypnotic, similar to Ildjarn without being quite as earshredding. Being honest, most Celtic Frosties will only listen to this CD once or twice for the novelty factor, as it can be quite a struggle to sit through the entire thing at just under an hour long.

The most ardent of fanatics, however, will love that several tracks appear twice, in early and rerecorded versions, making the band’s progression clear. It goes without saying that the music presented here was very influential, the likes of Mayhem gaining more than their guitarist’s name from Eurynomos and other songs. Unfortunately, how much you enjoy it will depend as much on your stamina as your taste, and unless you absolutely HAVE to see where Celtic Frost came from this reissue is hard to recommend, as good a repackage as it is. Fans only.

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Killing Songs :
Messiah, Buried And Forgotten, Triumph Of Death, Revelations Of Doom
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