Gallhammer has always been a band to attract much more than its fare share of criticism. The concept — a duo of young Japanese women playing grim, primitive black metal with barebones instrumental chops — coming in for scorn from metalheads is pretty fucking rich when there are countless bands out there who have dealt in the same skill set (Beherit and Nuclear Death are two who come immediately to mind — please note, I love both of them) with nary a fraction of the scorn. And hell, that’s one of the reasons why Gallhammer’s namesake, black metal progenitors Hellhammer, were so revered in their early days. They stripped metal down to its pulpy, snarling essence. Is it the fact that Galhammer are women in the meta boys-only treehouse? Is it the fact that they’re cutesy Japanese girls wearing Darkthrone t-shirts? I should hope not.