Hammercult: Steelcrusher

Israel’s Wacken-conquering metallers race around the bases

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Although billed as thrash, Israeli newcomers Hammercult cram so many black and death metal influences into their sound that it’s simplest just to label them extreme. Formed in 2010 and winners of the Wacken Metal Battle the following year, the quintet have moved up fast.

One listen to their populist potpourri of sounds and it’s easy to see why. Like the cliché generator used to churn out both the band’s moniker and the title of this, their second studio album, these guys specialise in spinning tried and tested tricks into a tapestry that’s entertaining but ultimately insubstantial and rather too inoffensive for its own good.

If the slickness and crowd-pleasing commerciality cranked out by the likes of Dimmu Borgir and Devildriver doesn’t offend you, however, there’s probably much to enjoy here. The blend of fury, melody and frantic pace no doubt makes for a good night out – the band are no slouches onstage – but attempting to cover so many bases and deliver something for everyone comes at a price.