Album Title: Hammer of Intransigence
Label: Dark Descent
The production on this record is surprisingly crisp, which makes it easy to hear everything that's going on. It's also ultra-heavy -- between the bass, kick-drum, and filthy belched vocals, there's plenty of low-end here, and the guitars have a convincing amount of crunch. The high snarled vox and cymbals cut through the mix with precision, providing just the right amount of counterpoint.
The songwriting on Hammer of Intransigence is chaotic and furious, with an emphasis on blasting, raging passages. "Iconoclasm" is a perfect example, with its snarled vocals and grinding guitars. The latter half of the song is like a storm of non-stop riffs and pickslides! "Carnivore" reappears from their demo, and sounds fifty times better here (the opener to this one is simply monolithic, as is that slow middle section -- this was the perfect choice to open the album proper!) "Thunorrad" has a bit more rhythm to it, but still threatens to rip your head off throughout. The solos here are particularly unhinged! Those who enjoyed the doom sections on Heresiarch's demo will be pleased with this record, too: "Conflagration" and "Intransigent" are crushing, especially the latter -- its ponderous, rumbling bass lines and insane leads had me banging my head before the end. It also makes an attention-getting contrast with the short-but-swift opener, "Abomination", making Hammer of Intransigence perfect for leaving on repeat.
This record strikes a good balance between fury and depth; it'll knock you over with non-stop riffs, but if you stick with it plenty of detail will emerge, especially if you pay proper attention to the drumming. Judging by this EP, Heresiarch is a worthy successor to Diocletian, Conqueror, and even Bolt Thrower -- a bit more variety might not be amiss, but Hammer... is so damn ferocious I hardly care. Highly recommended.
Standout Tracks: "Iconoclasm", "Thunorrad", "Intransigent"