Hellhammer, the short-lived pioneer black metal that would go on to become Celtic Frost, existed from 1982 to 1984 and never released a proper full-length. We know of Hellhammer through compilations of its sole EP and demo work, but that's about it. Now we get to have one more insight into the band's brief career via a 7" that was recorded in 1983 and never released.
The EP, titled Blood Insanity, features two tracks re-recorded off the band's 1983 demo Triumph of Death, and will be released through Century Media/Prowling Death Records on August 19 with a pre-order going up on July 22.
Here's what Tom G. Warrior has to say about the release.
"In early 1984, after Hellhammer's third demo Satanic Rites, Hellhammer bassist/singer Steve Warrior, Hellhammer roadie Marco Dinosaur Suremann, and I contemplated properly releasing some of the music Hellhammer had recorded the year before. We planned a NWOBHM-style 7" vinyl single, containing two songs taken from the Triumph Of Death demo recording sessions of June 1983.
The single was to feature Blood Insanity as a title track, and Maniac as its b-side. The cover of the single was to be a photo taken by Hellhammer photographer Martin Kyburz in early 1983. We drafted a brief typewriter memo, recording the outline for this single proposal.
At the time, it was difficult and prohibitively expensive for a band to directly contract a manufacturing plant to produce a vinyl record without the involvement of a record company, so the single eventually remained a mere idea, while Hellhammer ultimately signed with Noise Records in West Berlin. The Blood Insanity single project thus languished in an unrealized state until the eventual dissolution of Hellhammer rendered any plans for further Hellhammer releases redundant.
Nonetheless, the unrealized single never really faded from my memory throughout all the commotion associated with Hellhammer's past existence during the many years since the band's termination. Moreover, Prowling Death Records, founded in my bedroom in 1983 to release the Hellhammer demos, had in the meantime become a proper record company. When I presented the idea to Century Media Records, the long-standing licensing partner of Prowling Death Records, they immediately pledged their support.
The original single was to be issued in a simple card sleeve; but the gatefold format now chosen allows us the luxury to expand the visual presentation: the outside representing the single exactly as it was to be in 1984, the inside adding information about the project's history.
The result is this single, produced in full coordination with the Hellhammer members who played on these songs and designed as faithfully as possible in accordance with the original concept we devised 32 years ago. It features the Prowling Death Records number we originally assigned to it: PDR 007."
It'll be cool to hear "new" Hellhammer, especially if you're into seeing how extreme metal really unfolded in 1980s. Here's the demo version of the title track!