“I Live For This Shit!”


Hammercult talk about their new record

Two years have passed since Israeli thrash metal act Hammercult released their album Steelcrusher. Two years during which not only the whole world but also the international metal scene have changed.Hammercult have stayed abreast of those changes: more than ever before, the band impress with their broad stylistic range, increasingly allowing – along with their unmistakable strengths – influences from the punk, hardcore and traditional heavy metal genres. The result is entitledBuilt For War, a true, intoxicating thrash metal manifesto with an inescapable knock-on effect. Hammercult’s latest release will be out on Steamhammer/SPV on 28 August 2015 (US: 4 September 2015), so you’d better mark the date in your diary.

Because one thing is certain: anybody who liked Steelcrusher is bound to be absolutely bowled over by Built For War. And all those who haven’t got Hammercult on their metal menu yet will celebrate the group’s latest offering as the discovery of the year. “Every song on the album is the kind of pumping anthem which Hammercult are known for – but this time we’ve taken the songs to different places, with a more melodic and more original approach which really stands out,” vocalist Yakir Von Hammer explains. “The vocals on Built For War are very unique and range from screams to growls, hardcore shouts to clean vocals – which I honestly believe has never been done before by a single performer. If I had to summarize Built For War in a single sentence it would be ‘Destruction meets Manowar in an explosive mix of extreme music and true metal.’”

This description definitely hits the nail on the head. Von Hammer and guitarist Guy Ben David have composed 13 new songs, all of them razor-sharp metal tunes which they went on to record together with the other band members Elad Manor (bass), Maayan Henik (drums) and new addition Yuval Kramer (guitar) in Tel Aviv in February 2015 and which cover the full range of contemporary thrash metal. In line with the album title, following the short intro From Parts Unknown’, Built For War kicks off with a bang: the opener ‘Rise Of The Hammer’ sounds the way its title would have you expect: “There’s a good reason why we decided to open the album with this song,” Von Hammer says. “It’s a total metal powerhouse! A true fist-pumping war anthem. Slower but heavier than most of the Hammercult songs, it feels like storming the battle front, riding a war elephant.”


‘I Live For This Shit’, a kind of leitmotif for the band, comes across just as powerfully. Von Hammer: “This song is about my passion and my way of life. Metal, the road, the roar of the crowd and the strength I get from the people I meet across the world as we spread the war machine known as Hammercult … I live for this shit!” The band has never sounded more explosive than on this number. And they’ve never penned a more political, socio-critical lyric than ‘Spoils Of War’. An Israeli born and raised, this song pretty much tells Von Hammer’s life story: “The lyrics are about how we, the people, are misled by political agendas, left and right – which are all the same and at the end of the day serve to fuel the war industry, which is very profitable in the Middle East.”

You’ve already guessed it: Hammercult touch on sensitive issues, in terms of their lyrics as well as in terms of their music. Their new album brings across pure energy and documents the amazing development process that this band has gone through in the past two years. To incorporate this energy into Built For War, the musicians have enlisted the support of one of the most renowned metal sound engineers worldwide: mix and mastering were handled by Tue Madsen, who is well known for his work with The Haunted, Heaven Shall Burn, Dark Tranquility, Holy Moses, Moonspell, to name but a few. The martial cover artwork courtesy of Péter Sallai (Sabaton, Civil War, Kataklysm) suits the uncompromising sound of the album to a tee. Von Hammer: “The story behind the cover art process was basically my idea to highlight the progression of Hammercult with this album and to present it visually – in the modern world we live in.”

The album comes complete with first-rate bonus material. The DigiPak version includes a live DVD recorded in Tel Aviv two days before the work on Built For War commenced. “The best way to listen to Hammercult is live,” Von Hammer says, “on stage is where we really shine, and we wanted to prove that and capture the live energy on stage and bring it to the masses.” In addition, the album’s vinyl version features a cover of the Slayer classic ‘Evil Has No Boundaries’. “During our tour with Sepultura in 2013, the metal community had the news that Jeff Hanneman had passed away. On that day I promised to myself that we would cover Slayer.”

So it’s done: Built For War will definitely shake up the thrash metal scene and arouse anticipation for Hammercult’s upcoming European tour scheduled for autumn 2015. As Von Hammer puts it so aptly:  “I’m really looking forward to getting this album on stage and to the audience. I live for this shit!”


Yakir Shochat (Vocals)

Guy Ben David (Guitar)

Yuval Kramer(Guitar)

Elad Manor (Bass)

Maayan Henik (Drums)

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