Soon after a young Thomas Fischer moves with his mum to Nurensdorf he starts to take an interest in Rock Music. Listening to Deep Purple, UFO and Zappa he discovers an album by Rush which feature’s an picture of Geddy Lee with his Rickenbacker Bass; Tom developes an interest in playing a stringed instrument. Looking for more heavier an more powerful music he finaly hits on Motorhead and there it is again: The Rickenbacker Bass!.

Tom talks his mother into buying him one and not much later there’s a blue Rickenbacker and a tiny 60 Watt Roland Amp in his teenage bedroom. Together with some guys from highschool they start practicing and at that time they discover the beginning of what we now call the NWOBHM. Hot new bands like Diamond Head, Jaguar and Angel Witch were taking over the heavy scene of early 1980 and Tom and his friends just can’t get enough. Together with the 15 year old drummer a 17 year old Tom travels to London and in just a few days they bought so much records , and the first 2 issue’s of a new mag called Kerrang, they were completely broke.

Back in Zwitserland again he finds, among het pile of records they bought, an single by a band even heavier than Motorhead: Venom!!. In order to find out how heavy it can be Tom played the single on a 33Rpm setting.

By now the band Tom started grew to a four piece and they even got an roadie although they never even played live anywhere. As some members aren’t being serious about the band and even skipp rehearsel’s Tom has to kick ‘em out and not much later he find’s out that the only one who is listening to the same heavy stuff he does is the roadie called Steve. Tom switched to guitars and along the way, Steve takes over the Rickenbacker and a local guy called Peter starts drumming while Tom and Steve share vocals. For a few months they play under the name Hammerhead but being embarressed about this name not much later

Steve proposes Grave Hill. As Venom they even take on ,,stage names’’ and so Tom and Steve Warrior were born mid 1982. The initial drummer Steve Patton is shortly after replaced by a new drummer called Jorg Neubart who adopts the name Bruce Day.

After finally having found an rehearsel room they start practicing seven days a week and on a weekend visit to a local club they meet with two guys from the next village who are starting up a band themselves. Pretty soon they became friends and the two, Martin and Stephen, frequently visit the rehearsel room.

It might come as a surprise but the band, meanwhile called Hellhammer after being named Hammerhead for only ashort while, actually became better and they plan on recording a demo. An amateur engineer is found and for the amount of USD 70 he shows up one night with his mobile recording gear and at that night 17 songs were recorded. What is to be called ,, Death Fiend’’ changes , not much later, to ,,Triumph of Death’’ even the initial Death Fiend artwork is used for the T.O.D. demo and cassette’s were send to recordlabel’s and underground magazine’s,. The scene has, besides Venom, not heared something like this and things start to change for them. The friendship with Martin and Stephen is developing great and Tom spends most of his nights talking endlessly to the both of ‘em. Especially Martin’s knowledge of religion, theology and esoteric subjects fascinate’s Tom as uptil now he only copied the songwriting of Venom.

At that time a letter from german record label Modern Music arrives, in answer to the demo they received from Tom, which stated the founding of a new sublabel called Noise. Their first project would be the release of an underground compilation Album of german groups. Noise is willing to give them a chance if they are provided with a new demo. Christmas 1983 the new demo is ready and it is this ,, Satanic Rites'' demo that got them on the legendary Noise Compilation LP and they were even promised and EP !!!!. Tom drops out of school and together with Martin, who joined the band, they get on the train to record 6 songs between March 2 and 7. Four tracks are for the Promised EP and the other 2 are for the Compilation LP. Karl from Noise is planning to call the Lp ,, Black Mass’’ but it is Tom who talks him out of it and proposes ,,Death Metal’’ which actually is the name of the underground mag Tom used to run.

The abovenamed releases are a mixed succes. While a lot of fans embrace this new band, Mags like Metal Forces ( Metal Farces to some.....) really chop them in half and leave them confused. It is by these miserable reviews that Tom and Martin start thinking where to take it from here. There’s no use in becoming more extreme cause what’s to do after you have recorded a track like ,,Triumph of Death’’??. On the 31 of May Tom and Martin sit together to set a new personal target and to create a new concept. They decide to get rid of the Satanic Image and even write an new song called ,,Visions of Mortality ’’. It is clear to them this isn’t an Hellhammer song and on this morning they decided to quit Hellhammer and start all over again. There is an Cirith Ungol album lying around and they both like the idea of a two-part name. Martin proposes ,,Celtic’’, Tom answers ,,Fire’’ but changes that later to ,,Frost’’ and a new band is born.

Within a limited time frame the whole concept and even future album names are made up!. Only problem is to tell the Recordlabel ( who had actually given them an recorddeal after the first two releases) that their new-signed act didn’t excist anymore!!!!.

This is in short the rise and fall of legendary Hellhammer, the band that didn’t even excist for two years but in those two years wrote a lot of cult songs and the Hellhammer demo ,,Satanic Rites’’ is still the most evil, deathlike recording ever to released on mankind !!. Even later when Tom rejects everything Hellhammer lyrically ever stood for one has to say that the power and energy provided by that legendary band was the basis for what was to become the best avant-garde metal band ever: Celtic Frost


© 2002 Hellhammer designed by Wickie