Demolition Hammer arrived on the East Coast thrash metal scene circa 1986. The original line-up consisted of Steve Reynolds as the vocalist and on bass, James Reilly on guitar, and John Salerno on drums. Their first demo tape, Skull Fracturing Nightmare, was released in 1988. It gained notice from fans of the genre and independent record labels. Derek Sykes was brought in as a second guitarist and Vincent Civitano (a.k.a. Vinny Daze) replaced Salerno. Their second demo, Necrology, secured the group a recording contract with Century Media Records.
Their first album, Tortured Existence, was produced by Scott Burns with a small budget. The songs were composed with fast riffs, chunky breakdowns, and expressive guitar solos. In 1992, the band released Epidemic of Violence. The production was clearer and included faster and leaner songs. The covers of these first two releases featured horror based artwork and a logo designed by Daze.
Fast paced thrash metal became less popular in the ’90s. Daze and Reilly left the band to form the group Deviate NY. Former Malevolent Creation drummer Alex Marquez joined Reynolds and Sykes to write material for another project. The label wished to release the songs with the band’s original name. The result was the 1994 album Time Bomb with a new Demolition Hammer logo on the cover. It was slower and lacked guitar solos. The style was similar to that of groups like Pantera and Machine Head.
Marquez and Reynolds were offered new gigs with Solstice. Daze died of globefish poisoning while traveling in Africa on March 11, 1996. With Demolition Hammer’s music becoming increasingly hard to come by, Century Media released Necrology: A Complete Anthology in 2008. It included every title from their first three albums, two pre-production demos from Time Bomb, and one video clip.
Edited by OTH12 on 11 Nov 2013, 08:53
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