There are some bands out there for which cataloging is a futile effort. You think you have it down, that this riff or that or that vocal line or this drum fill places them squarely within a certain genre. But then the next track goes and does something completely different or, in the more devious case we have before us today, the entire thing is just slightly off from what you’d expect from the whatever genre you had decided upon. With Hammers of Misfortune, the knee-jerk reaction is to put them together with the rest of the traditional heavy metal revival and specifically within the slew of bands paying homage to New Wave of British Heavy Metal.
[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=1178104626 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small track=3635298385]
And, indeed, when listening to the title track from their latest album, Dead Revolution, a lot of it invites that definition; the riffs are first and galloping and the guitars are loud. But what’s this? Those synths are way too prominent and their tone harks more to progressive rock than any band to emerge from the NWOBHM. And the vocals don’t quite fit that definition either, do they? They have this uniquely deep timbre about them that makes us think of early Pink Floyd perhaps or some other survivor of the 70’s psychedelic/progressive rock scene. Other points on the album, like closer “Days of 49′”, double down on these influences and make the composition even more dreamy and “out there”.
The end result is an album which might take you a bit to “get” but, once you do, nothing else will quite scratch the same itch. It’s one of the more original and unique releases in the genre in a while. What’s more, the band have a pretty amazingly consistent backlog, giving you much more than “just” this release to sink your teeth into. So, what are you waiting for? Turn up the volume, roll down those windows and go for a ride with Hammers of Misfortune. They’ll take you to places you’ve never quite been before but which will feel strangely familiar.