Gallhammer – Ill Innocence


Welcome to the first part of my two part (so far) special on women of metal who break the stereotype. I have gone away, dug through my own collection as well as dredged the internet in the hopes of finding proof that not only are there women breaking the convention of the nightwish clone, not only doing it well, but can provide a match for any male counterpart.

So its come to my attention that many probably wont read most of these, so I recap with one sentence summaries for where to direct your attention in this special.

Gallhammer – Death/Doom to suicide to.
Lucifugum – Raw Black Metal with a possessed demon fronting them.
Amaran – The best thing short of Beautiful Sin’s second album
Gonin-Ish – If Sigh is like Hamlet, Gonin-Ish is like Ophelia. Crazy.
Vainglory – Heavy/Speed, fronted by a woman with more bawls than most men.
Volnaya Staya – Fun tribute to classic Heavy Metal
Kanthaka – Death metal unlike anything you’ve heard.
Enchained Souls – Operatic/Gothic metal that packs an emotional punch.

Gallhammer – Ill Innocence – 3.5/5

Welcome to the first of the “women who break the nightwish clone stereotype” reviews. A name I’m sure many will be familiar with, but one that seems to be shrouded in doubt. “Will I like it?” “Are they serious?” “Wow, 3 hawt women! Bet it sucks but at least I can fap to that!” And I’m sure other questions will have arisen. In short, this is like many Japanese metal bands, unique, but perhaps worthy of the attention of your ears and not just your eyes.

They play a blend of Death/Doom which is incredibly depressive. In fact, that statement doesn’t do the atmosphere, the emotion they produce a shred of justice. This is beyond suicidally depressing, this is apocalyptic whats-the-point-of-living depressive. They seem to have tried to create a tone so inaccessible, to shake off the image of being a gimmick, a band composed entirely of females, that it renders their sound dubious at times as to whether it can really constitutes the definition of music. The sound is basic and comes in two main forms, a slow, almost drone doom, and more upbeat doom filled death sound. I should make it no secret at this point that the drone-like tone is my personal preference.

This is a band with 3 members who all started their career as vocalists. This means none of them are particularly proficient musicians, but the music doesn’t require them to be. Would it be any better with quicker more complex riffs? The solo here or there? No. In fact, it would undermine the sound they’ve created. Everything about it is simple, bare, minimalistic and raw without detracting from the core of their sound. The fact they’re perhaps less capable musicians technically doesn’t at any point present itself as that slow droning of the bass, the slow monotonous guitar riff, it all serves to create an atmosphere.

Having said that, the vocals are clearly the highlight of this album, working wonders in producing the tone that helps refine the atmosphere. Often growled they provide an apocalyptic and demonic feel, produced with seemingly little effort they only enhance the feeling of desperation and pointlessness inherent within every track, reminding me slightly of that grunge drawl at times. As said earlier however, all three members started out as vocalists. This gives them the unique option of allowing multiple vocals to be present upon a track, and occasionally a clean voice is heard. Sometimes high pitched as in ‘blind my eyes,’ sometimes mid-pitched as in ‘Delirium Daydream,’ sometimes, multiple growls as shown in ‘ripper in the gloom,’ but in every case they allow for a slightly different tone to present itself.

This is not an album for everyone, in fact only those who like death growls and a doom-filled atmosphere is recommended to try this one, and the majority of them I expect would dislike it. It is certainly not without its problems. Whilst the lack of technical ability doesn’t hamper how effective the tracks are, it does present for a monotonous sounding album, with little diversity beyond the pace, resulting in an album that more often than not feels like background music, and working in a similar way as most ambient music. And even considering that, I wish they had slowed down the pace more often. But there will be some who find the unique atmosphere to their liking, and for those few who do enjoy this album, you will find something that perhaps accents your mood at the darkest of times in a way I know no other band capable of.

Highlights: At the onset of the age of despair, Blind my eyes, Delirium Daydream

By T. Bawden


Anonymous said…
Hi, as you may already noticed I'm newbie here.
I will be glad to receive some assistance at the beginning.
Thanks in advance and good luck! :)
Anonymous said…
Ola, what's up amigos? :)
I will be glad to get any assistance at the beginning.
Thanks and good luck everyone! ;)
Anonymous said…
hi everybody

just signed up and wanted to say hello while I read through the posts

hopefully this is just what im looking for looks like i have a lot to read.
Anonymous said…
Hello dude!

It is my first time here. I just wanted to say hi!
Anonymous said…
Elo, I am new. Better had say howdy.

see you around and Thanks alot (sorry if this is the wrong place to put this post)