On Wednesday October 5, Norwegian thrashers Deathhammer journeyed to San Diego to play their first ever Southern California show as part of their Wrath In The Wicked West tour. Hosted by Inner Void Productions, the bill also featured Infernal Conjuration, Impure Consecration, and Maledict at San Diego’s Til Two Club; apologies to Maledict for not making it in time for your opening set.

      That said, Impure Consecration was the second band of the night. They did a great job with stage props but there was much lacking in their sound. The songs quickly grew repetitive and there was little sonically to distinguish them apart. And that’s ok because the band seems relatively new and it takes time to truly develop a signature sound. However their stage presence can use immediate work. Not once did it seem like the band was excited to be playing music. While I don’t prefer all bands to have the flamboyance of acts like Scorpions, there’s still a way to be dark and menacing without looking bored. While it may sound like Impure Consecration was a misfire, they weren’t. They have a good image, impressive vocals, and plenty of room to grow.

      Infernal Conjuration followed shortly after and quickly established a lively stage presence. The quartet played fast and loud, getting more of the crowd moving. Their tunes were a bit run-of-the-mill, but the band was a well-rehearsed ensemble and a solid fit as the evening’s direct support.

      It’s not every day you get to see Norwegian thrash metal in San Diego on a Wednesday evening. Deathhammer kicked off their set at midnight and immediately threw down the gauntlet in sound and presence. Opening with “Invasion From Hell” followed by “Voodoo Rites,” Deathhammer released a punishing aural assault of volatile guitars and screeching vocals that drove fans in the front rabid. The Norwegian speed metallers boasted impressive control of their instruments all while brandishing snarls and thrashing across the stage.

      Bassist/vocalist Sergeant Salsten was a perfectly chilling fit as frontman, glaring and howling amidst intermittent fog and fist-pumping. Axemen Bowel Ripper and Sadomancer shredded with fervor while drummer Kick held down the tight percussion. For the duration of their headlining set, Deathhammer impressed their brand of European speed to an electrifying reception which I can only hope works as an incentive to return to San Diego very soon.


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