|Origin||The Bronx, New York, United States|
|Genres||Thrash metal, death metal, groove metal|
|Past members||James Reilly
Demolition Hammer was a thrash metal band from the Bronx, New York. The band formed in 1986 and released three full-length albums between 1990 and 1994. Century Media Records made a complete anthology available in 2008. They sold more than 110 million albums worldwide.
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 their critically acclaimed album 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.
In reference to a national tour in 1991, it was written that Demolition Hammer played "lightning-fast songs with complex structure and shifting rhythms." Another writer referred to Reynolds and Sykes as "riff machines" while also complimenting the band's songwriting ability. The change of style heard on Time Bomb drew ire from some fans of thrash metal.
- James Reilly – guitar, backing vocals (1986–1992)
- Steve Reynolds – bass, vocals (1986–1994)
- John Salerno – drums (1986–1988)
- Vinny Daze – drums, backing vocals (1988–1993)
- Derek Sykes – guitar, backing vocals (1988–1994)
- Alex Marquez – drums (1994)
- Mike Usifer - guitar, backing vocals (1992-1994)
- Skull Fracturing Nightmare (1988)
- Necrology (1989)
- Tortured Existence (1990)
- Epidemic of Violence (1992)
- Time Bomb (1994)
- Necrology: A Complete Anthology (2008)
- Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Demolition Hammer". Billboard. Retrieved August 17, 2010.
- Bergman, Keith. "CD reviews; Demolition Hammer Necrology: A Complete Anthology (Century Media)". Roadrunner Records. Retrieved August 17, 2010.
- Mudrian, Albert (2009). Precious Metal: Decibel Presents the Stories Behind 25 Extreme Metal Masterpieces. Da Capo Press. p. 104. ISBN 978-0-306-81806-6.
- Simmonds, Jeremy (2008). The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars: Heroin, Handguns, and Ham Sandwiches. Chicago Review Press. p. 363. ISBN 978-1-55652-754-8.
- "City Limits". The Pittsburgh Press. July 7, 1991. p. G4. Retrieved August 17, 2010.