Master's Hammer hail from the Czech Republic and this double CD combines their two best works. They have their own sound and cannot be truly compared to any other band. Previous to these albums, they released three demos and an EP, which are all impossible to find. After these two albums, they released a third "Slagry" which was all computer/techno sounding music. Since these are two different and totally separate albums, they should be reviewed as such.
RITUAL- This is Master's Hammer's first full-length album. It is quite obviously influenced by the 80's black metal gods Bathory and Venom. It is more melodic than these bands, with some ethereal guitar lines and keyboards. It is not as majestic as "The Jilemnice Occultist", but much more evil, with a darker sound. Highlights are Song two, Song six, and Song seven (all of the song titles are in Czech, and I can't remember them)
THE JILEMNICE OCCULTIST- This is MH's second full-length and their last black metal album. This is also my favorite of the two albums featured on this double (Ritual is a very close second, though). With "The Jilemnice Occultist", Master's Hammer have entered the realm of more symphonic black metal. Keyboards are in great abundance here, yet MH still keeps the old feeling with their 80's black metal influenced guitars. This entire album is great and no song is better than another, they are all highlights.
If you like music, than you should buy this double CD. Even if you don't like black metal, this may be the CD that converts you. It exhibits fine musicianship and an originality and style that has to my knowledge never been copied since.