Gallhammer – “The End” (2011)


Label : Peaceville Records

Review by Si Smith

Gallhammer are well-known to fans of extreme metal, for they are masterful at their craft. Some focus on their all-female identity; others deem this irrelevant as here the music is eloquent at speaking for itself. “The End” starts with a crusty bass riff which is joined shortly by the full ensemble of percussion and guitars, drawing us further into the sludgy morass of doom that is the opening song. Vivian Slaughter‘s growled vocals are low and extreme here, the pace is almost funereally slow but also very heavy. Speed freaks wishing the track to speed up will be disappointed; the slow sludge continues for the full 7 minutes. Second song “Rubbish cg202” brings a touch of pace and aggression to the table, and proves that Gallhammer can do speed just as well. Growled shouts accompany walls of guitar; again no guitar solos here: its all about rhythm and heaviness, two things Gallhammer do particularly well at this point. “Aberration” is a suitable interlude, containing as it does a high-pitched wailing shriek of a vocal alongside the familiar growls. It starts midpaced then speeds up, dueting both type of vocals until collapsing in spent surrender after a particularly frenzied riff attack. After yet another slightly mediocre interlude “Sober”, Gallhammer pick up the pace again with “Entropy G35” which involves some of the most guttural growls yet, at which time the general mix of growl and drum begins to wear on this listener’s ear a bit. Fortunately a return to the slow sludgy doom of the first track returns, and what threatened to fade into monotony now rekindles interest. Twelve minutes of funeral doom slowness follow with the return of the deep low-end bass and growl combo from the initial track; and these continue into the final assault on our senses, curiously named “108=7, T-Na”. This time otherworldly shrieks and spaced-out noises accompany a mostly instrumental track to bring the album to a fitting conclusion. In short, when Gallhammer are good they are very good, particularly the first two and last two tracks. The middle of the album begins to stretch the attention for a short while, then a return to the slow sludge invites us to applaud Gallhammer once again. A mixed bag then, the fullness of the creation not quite fulfilling the initial promise of those first delicious tastes of doom. But to anyone into otherworldly drone style doom in general, it is an adventure worth undertaking.

Rating – 70/100



  1. The End
  2. Rubbish CG202
  3. Aberration
  4. Sober
  5. Entropy G35 
  6. Wander
  7. 108=7/T-NA


Line Up

  • Vivian Slaughter – Bass, Vocals & Saxophone
  • Risa Reaper – Drums, Vocals



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