Decibel Hammer is a Finnish trio that plays, as their name suggests, oldschool thrash metal. The band was founded in 2011, and this, their first official EP-release, was published after two demos. It's available for free in digital form, and rather affordably in CD-format.

The demo doesn't present a lot of new things to those who are at least somewhat acquainted with the genre. The songs rely on simplisticity, but have enough variation and brief melodies and solos to keep things interesting. The guitars leave little to complain and the drumming is nicely hasty and skilled as well, but a louder, clearer and more organic bass-sound would've certainly added an extra kick to the songs. The vocals are raw and throaty, and could use more personality and force even though they handle their part well. Some shout-choirs and growling vocals are employed to bring a small twist to the songs' flow, which is something I warmly welcome.

The overall sound is very '80s-esque with a hint of modern times in the guitar distortion; it's harsh and raw, but still clear enough to preserve the riffs' clarity. I would've wanted a slightly stronger and rougher sound, as some increased force and dynamics would do wonders to the now a bit flat soundscape. Especially the cymbals would've benefited from a stronger sound, as their dull, thin and hissing sound doesn't do a lot of good to the songs even though their playing itself isn't flawed.

There are no great flaws in the band's music, and the fellows certainly seem enthusiastic about their craft. For now, I'd say their main job is to figure out how to better bring out each song's characteristics and twists. The compositions are fine, but they seem rather generic since their twists and hooks aren't brought up into the spotlight properly. In short; the songs are decent, but they could be much richer and tighter, and the small spices from more modern metal could be employed in a more striking manner. "Culture of Extermination" isn't a bad debut EP, but it doesn't manage to rise Decibel Hammer high enough from the buzzing flock of young thrash-bands.

6+ / 10