Highly impressed by the band’s self-titled debut EP in 2015, not to mention hailing from the label’s home base of Cleveland, the first fruit of this union shall be Hammr‘s debut album, Unholy Destruction, which shall be released later this year.
Hammr was formed in Cleveland, Ohio by J. Hammer in 2013. As a strictly solo endeavor, Hammr recorded a full digital-only demos album, which caught the attention of several labels. From there, the band went on to release the Hammr EP in 2015, first digitally and then on cassette tape through Hota Rex, the latter of which quickly sold out. Other plans for releases were delayed due to label managers going to jail as well as the usual financial delays, which led J. Hammer to start releasing demo singles directly to the metal people. It was during this time that he met the folks behind Hells Headbangers and also Demona founder Tanza Speed, who both took a lot of interest in Hammr. Once he received the offer, J. Hammer decided to hold off on recordings for other labels, and use some of his demos and new material for the imminent debut album, Unholy Destruction.
Hammr‘s influences proudly include early Bathory, Celtic Frost, Iron Angel, Discharge, early Slayer, Sodom, and Venom. “These are influences that get me going,” says J. Hammer, “and also embody the spirit of my music, but Hammr is definitely not a ‘worship’ band. I dub it ‘Satanic speed,’ as it combines fast speed metal riffing with D-beat drums and relentless arrangements. This isn’t a quick-startup, Lemmy-worshiping metal/punk band that we see a lot of; Hammr goes for your throat and doesn’t give a fuck about that shit.”
No politics, no party, no drinks: J. Hammer is an introverted lone-wolf, and has since become the guitarist and active songwriter for Demona, who played last year’s Hells Headbangers-curated Hells Headbash. At present, Hammr is finishing up drums for Unholy Destruction at Audio Alchemy Studios, and finishing guitars, bass, vocals, and mixing with Vanik from Midnight. Toxic Holocaust maiman Joel Grind is handling the mastering, with the album slated to be complete by early March.
A statement from J. Hammer reads: “I’m honored to be part of the Hells Headbangers roster, a label I have followed for years and also from my hometown of Cleveland. I’m very excited to unleash Unholy Destruction through such a well-respected and renowned label.” More Hammr news to be revealed shortly.
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