THEY ARE: Raw Death/Doom/Thrash Metal
FROM: North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
FOR FANS OF: Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, Apokalyptic Raids
LATEST RELEASE: "No Beast So Fierce" (self released)
SONGS TO CHECK OUT: "Total Maniac", "Warriors Of The Cross", "The Doom Messiah"
WHERE TO FIND THEM :- firstname.lastname@example.org
Warhammer are a band that I first came across back in the late 1990's but it wasn't until some years later that I fully indulged myself in their unashamed Hellhammer worship, Back in 1994 when the band first started it wasn't exactly considered cool to namedrop or openly admit you were influenced by Hellhammer but these German metalheads didn't care about whatever trends were doing the rounds in the extreme music scene at the time and just wanted to pay homage to the short lived musical legacy of the Swiss maniacs that was created by Tom G Warrior and co back in the early 80's before going on to form Celtic Frost.
Warhammer's music follows the same raw crude musical direction of the old Hellhammer material and they have paid very close attention not just to recreating the same vibe musically but also visually, everything from the bands logo to the album artwork just screams HELLHAMMER!!!.
The band released 4 albums from the mid 1990's until the early 00's( one of which was released by Nuclear Blast Records ) then disbanded for a little while before reforming some years later (without an original member Frank Krynojewski) and then unleashing "No Beast So Fierce" which was a self released affair that saw the band picking up where they left off.
Apparently the band disown their earlier material because it dosn't sound enough like Hellhammer! I love this bands stripped down, straight forward approach especially in these modern times of over triggered and polished productions and I love the fact that the band have stayed true to their original musical agenda for the best part of 20 years and have just continued to fanatically pay homage to Hellhammer. I sent some questions to the bands vocalist and a founding member Volker "Iron Lung" Frerich and here is what he had to say on the subjects of the band reforming, the latest album and of course no Warhammer interview would be complete without mentioning Hellhammer!
Hails Volker! Please give readers a quick background history in the band and who currently does what in the band?
We started 1994 under the name TRIUMPH OF DEATH. Our current and only drummer Rolf especially learned drumming for this dream of ours! Nevertheless in the first years we were not constructive, just fucking around in the rehearsal room and playing cover songs. 1997 we decided, this had to change! We wrote some “serious” songs and entered the studio for the 1st time to record our only demo-tape “Towards the Chapter of Chaos”. It was very well received within the metal scene, and one year later followed by our debut album “The Winter of our Discontent”. From that point on, we steadily released albums and played shows. In 2001 the band broke up because of strong personal differences. Some years later I was the driving source for the re-union, together with our old drummer Rolf. We were completed by Christoph on bass and Kiview on guitar.
You guys are known for being total Hellhammer worshipping maniacs...how did this idea first come about to play such strong Hellhammer influenced music and did you think it would last for more than a few albums?!!
Necros II and I knew each other from the 80s, where we hung out together at a place called “Mephisto” in my home-town Gelsenkirchen. It was a metal pub, where all the guys from bands like SODOM, KREATOR, ASSASSIN, DEATHROW, VIOLENT FORCE, DARKNESS hung out, sometimes even MAYHEM came over! We shared a common passion for HELLHAMMER, and I guess, we were the ones, that adored them the most. When we met again in 1994 at a concert from TYPE O NEGATIVE, the idea of a band in similar vein began to form...
Your most recent album "No Beast So Fierce" was unleashed by yourselves a little while ago...please tell the readers a little about this album in your own words, also why did you decide to release it yourselves instead of going through a label? Did you have a bad label experience previously or....?
“No Beast so fierce...” was, with the exception of the song “Total Maniac” written completely by Christoph, which I think, is very impressive, considering the fact, that he is very young and joined WARHAMMER without expert knowledge of HELLHAMMER. We took our time arranging the songs (drums, vocal lines) and recording “No Beast so fierce...”, because the metal crowd was not expecting anything from us with a specific date or so. I am very pleased with the result, I think, it’s the best album we ever put out, followed by “The Doom Messiah”!
We decided to release it ourselves, so we could have total control, and all the pressed CDs for our own use.
The times with Grind Syndicate Media/Nuclear Blast were not bad times, but nevertheless we wanted to try it another way this time!
I know you guys disbanded for a little while in the early 2000's then reformed without an original member Frank around the mid 2000's, I have read some criticism from people about your decision to reform without him, what is your response to those people and why wasn't he involved in the reformed line up??
I can only say to those people: “Listen to “No Beast so fierce...” without prejudice and then judge!”. And also to our song “Maneater”, which is featured on a Split 10” with COFFINS (Vinyl-only-Release). We have not lost our way, and we never will!
The problems between me/Rolf on one side and Necros II on the other were the reason for the break-up, and it was/is serious. So to include him in the line-up was definitely not my intention!
Describe Warhammer in 5 words only!
Raw, heavy, simplistic Deathdoom Brigade!
Do you guys play out live much/ Have you done any touring for the last album or do you have any tours or gigs in other countries planned? What are the chances of seeing Warhammer in the UK? What can people expect from a Warhammer live performance? I guess lots of beer is drank at your gigs! What makes German crowds different from other countries in Europe do you think?
We did a tour in Finland together with HELLBOX, were in Italy five times so far, and in other neighbour countries like The Netherlands, Austria and so on. We are confirmed for next year’s BARROSELAS METALFEST in Portugal and METAL MAGIC FESTIVAL in Denmark. We would love to play in the UK, just need some contact for getting us over! A WARHAMMER live performance contains much headbanging and going crazy on stage. I also like, when people sing into my microphone, I am not one of those frontmen with the attitude “The mic is mine, get away from me!”, hahaha. I guess, that still results from my Hardcore days at the end of the 80s.
German metalheads could always count on a strong scene, that has been there since the 80s. We always had great bands like RUNNING WILD, DESTRUCTION, IRON ANGEL, EXUMER or TYRANT, that were the foundation for the metal fans. You need domestic bands for people to follow. I would not like it, if German metalheads would only go to concerts of foreign bands – because there are no domestic ones! But luckily that is not the case, and never was. I don’t think, that the Germans are that much different than in other countries, you have crazy, enthusiastic fans in Italy too, for example!
Apart from the obvious Hellhammer influence are there any other bands that play a big role in fuelling and shaping the sound of Warhammer??
No, not really. The band members listen to various sounds privately, but as far as the songwriting is concerned, it’s basically just HELLHAMMER, that we focus on.
What is your local scene like, any local bands you wanna recommend to the readers to check out?
We have some good local bands here like ATTIC or IRON KOBRA. Our guitar player is in IRON KOBRA, too. It’s basically Heavy Metal with some Speed Metal mixed into. ATTIC feature a slice of MERCYFUL FATE, as their vocalist sounds a bit like King Diamond.
What is your opinion on the current German metal and punk scene- any bands you wanna recommend?!
I don’t like that much new bands these days. CRUEL FORCE released 2 good albums, but now their singer left, and he has a very specific voice, so I don’t know, what they will sound like in the future. OCCULTA is a cool band, I think, they were over in England already, too. And BLOODY VENGEANCE for fans of the South American-style.
Out of all of your albums which are ones are your faves? And for what reasons?
Like I said earlier, my favourite one is “No Beast so fierce...”, followed by “The Doom Messiah”. I think, “The Doom Messiah” is a 100%-solid product, as I like all songs on it, and the prodcution, too. I can’t stand our debut-album “The Winter of our Discontent” because of the sound, and the prodcution of “Deathchrist” is not so hot either. On “Curse of the absolute Eclipse” I am not happy with all of the songs, I think, some of them are pretty mediocre. “No Beast so fierce...” is like a dream come true for me, ‘cause I think, it’s a perfect release for WARHAMMER. All songs are Killer, and the guitar sound is the most raw and brutal we ever had! We tried something new with the trilogy, acoustic guitar and spoken word at the end, but the foundation is for sure still HELLHAMMER to the max!!
I read a little piece in Terrorizer magazine where Tom G Warrior was reviewing your cds/talking about Warhammer , did you ever see that and if so what did you think about that?! Have you ever met him in person?! I guess he must be flattered by such blatant Hellhammer worshipping!!
Yes, I have read it. I don’t care too much about what he wrote, everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. I don’t agree with most, he said. And no, I have never met him personally.
What are your plans for the near future? Do you have much new material written? What can we expect from it? More of the same Hellhammer worship in your own unique style?!
We will put out the following stuff in 2012: A split 7” with APOKALYPTIC RAIDS, where each band covers 2 HELLHAMMER-tracks. We have chosen “Maniac” and “The Third of the Storms (Evoked Damnation)” for this release. A new WARHAMMER-album or EP. A 4-track-split CD with SATHANAS and another band. A 10”-Split with ABIGAIL. These are the projects in our focus for 2012, I hope, they will all see the light of day. And yes, only HELLHAMMER-style, for sure!
The last words are yours, how can people get hold of your Cd's, merch etc..??? anything you would like to say? Danke Volker!!
Thank you, Kat, for this interview! We mostly sell our stuff at gigs, but there’s always some on Ebay Germany, on our own auctions. Finally “No Beast so fierce...” got an official label-release, too! It came out some weeks ago with our approval in Brazil, through the label KILL AGAIN RECORDS. And the 2nd vinyl-edition just came out through German Label HIGH ROLLER RECORDS, as the 1st one was sold out very quickly. We are very busy at the moment, and things are looking good for us! If you know about anyone, that would get us over to England, feel free to contact us here: