WARHAMMER

It’s no exaggeration to say that Warhammer’s new album “No Beast so Fierce …” is the best they have ever recored. Volker “Iron Lung” Frerich, singer of the band, sees it exactly the same: “Yeah, I also think it is the best thing we ever did. On ‘No Beast so Fierce’ we have created the most extreme guitar sound we ever had. In addition to that the slower, more depressing songs come across more doomy than ever before. The fast songs are a bit slower than in the past, making them sound even more aggressive this time around.” The vinyl edition of “No Beast so Fierce …” contains a bonus 7″ single including three cover tunes: “Sphinx” (Poison), “Poison” (Venom) and “The Return of Darkness and Evil (Bathory). Are those all songs that have influenced Warhammer? “Influenced is the wrong word”, finds Volker. “Those are songs we like but they don’t represent the actual Warhammer style. Poison is a very interesting band. On their first demo they couldn’t even play and later on, with ‘Into the Abyss’, they delivered such a monster demo. Unfortunately, this never lead to a ‘real career’. For me they are a cult act but ‘Into the Abyss’ already marked the demise of the band.” The real Warhammer influence is, take a guess, yes, Hellhammer. A lot of people have accused them of being mere clones. Volker takes it lightly: “If that would have bothered us, we wouldn’t have formed the band in the first place. That is our only aim!” The “Iron Lung” refused to see Celtic Frost on their last re-union tour (together with Kreator): “Nope, did not go to the show. Couldn’t care less. Ski hats on stage are uncool, be it with Razor or with Celtic Frost. I saw them at Wacken. The guitar sound was crunchy, the vocals really tame and the stageacting absolutely boring.” Volker never met Thomas Gabriel Fischer in person and never talked to him: “He was aksed to review our albums in Terrorizer magazine and he slated them. That’s his opinion … again, I couldn’t care less.” Warhammer is a truly international act, they have appeared live in Austria, Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands and Italy. Volker compares: “The Italian fans are really wild. Our best gig was in Finland though, in Turku. The atmosphere was electric and the fans knew all the lyrics. Brilliant.” How do Warhammer achieve to copy the Hellhammer/early Frost sound? Do they have the same (vintage) equipment? “No, not really”, declares Volker. “In the studio we are just searching for the perfect guitar sound. For days. That has become the norm.” When did Volker stop listening to Celtic Frost then? When they turned Poser Rock with “Vanity/Nemesis”? “No, even ‘Into the Pandemonium’ was too experimental for me. Celtic Frost’s masterpieces are ‘Morbid Tales’ and ‘To Mega Therion’. That’s for sure.” Volker does like Hellkommander but has never seen Japanese girl group Galhammer live: “I would do though, if they ever play near me. Although I don’t think they sound that much like Hellhammer at all.” Apart from Warhammer, there are two side-projects different band members are active with: “Kiview is very successful with Iron Kobra. I am about to form a band along the lines of Massacre but don’t have a name for the project as yet.” For now, the Warhammer singer is content with the band’s status as kings of the underground: “It is hard to say where we will be in five years. It is also hard to say if we are commercial enough for bigger labels like Nuclear Blast.” The Thrash hype of the last two to three years, with labels like Earache and even some majors jumping on the bandwaggon, is something Volker “Iron Lung” Frerich does not care about at all: “Boooooooring!”

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