AMMIT, Hammer of Darkness (2005, From Beyond Productions)
A somewhat forlorn looking skull (but don’t they all look bummed?), encircled in a ring of bombs. Traditional white on black, with the stock Olde English font that black metal bands have favored since the Bathory days. There’s really not much more to say here, the cover is simple, clean and mean. The skull could have been bigger, perhaps. Note that there’s no hammer around whatsoever, of darkness or otherwise. (“The hammer of darkness is in your miiiind, man!”)
This is the strain of black metal sometimes referred to as “black ‘n’ roll,” but really it’s just the oldest of old-school black metal, clearly influenced by Motorhead, Venom and Bathory, and certainly the German thrash gods of the ’80s and Brazilian bands like Vulcano and Sarcofago. These Chileans keep it real and rockin’, the closest reference point being the first two Bathory albums. Although those can’t ever be bested, Ammit does a fair job of laying it down and keeping pedal to metal for nearly 39 minutes. The music is mid-paced to thrash-speed fast (ie. it never blasts) and while most of it definitely rocks, something like “Black Plagues” gets a bit more murky and chaotic. Highlights are found in the total worship of Bathory’s first album, “Dogs from Hell,” and the ripping “Power Means Death Power.” The vocals snarl and croak like early Quorthon, but you can also hear some Udo Dirkschneider in the phrasing and barking delivery. Which is perfect for the cover of Accept’s “Fast as a Shark.” For what this album is, it’s very good.
— Friar Wagner