Hammers Of Misfortune hail from San Francisco, California and have some serious praise behind them. Formed in 2000 with members from across the board, ranging from Amber Asylum, Gwar (live sessionist) and Death Angel, this six piece are ready to unleash their 6th full length release on us all. Dubbed progressive metal but having more in common with classic rock and sabbathian doom in terms of sound, let’s see if we can find out just what misfortune awaits us.
With plenty of power behind it, the opening track, “The Velvet Inquisition” roars to life. With riffs which dance between easily identifiable sub genres like thrash, traditional heavy metal and classic rock merging together to create a tri-decadal sound. With the grandeur of the 70’s, the heavy metal fire of the 80’s and the bite of the 90’s, it packs a punch. The ominous and hypnotic vocals along with the galloping bass-line, ringing guitars and eerie organ creates a real atmospheric quality for the track and from here on out, it stays the same.
Echoing shades of Blue Oyster Cult, Ghost and King Diamond, this album cloaks itself in a shroud of supernatural themes and hypnotic hallucinations. Even with the fire and thunder in “Dead Revolution” which sounds a hell of a lot like a Deep Purple track, that surreal quality is still present. “Sea Of Heroes” has a steady hard rock beat with a touch of Euro Metal to beef it up, bringing the Mercyful Fate and King Diamond feel to it whilst “The Precipice (Waiting For The Crash)” and its rich Hammond organ licks over the galloping feel brings a touch of French hard rockers, Flayed to the proceedings, and as it is well known, any use of Hammond Organ always gets my seal of approval!
With this hard and classic rock and metal sound, things are shook up a little with the spooky “Days Of 49”. With its slow Sabbathian pace and ominous air, it slows things right down. Vocally similar to the classic doom bands of old, it’s sorrowful lyrical content and delivery over the music which peaks and falls like waves through bright and dark tones, it’s a real gloomy number. Ringing out with an overall feeling of loss, it shows a different side to the band given their initial hard and fast approach. Bringing a more theatrical approach, “Here Comes The Sky” brings out the acoustic guitar with a campfire sing along feel initially, backed up by piano and box drum styled percussion. It’s hypnotic and slow paced, gradually building in volume and presence until it finally ‘breaks’ just before the two minute mark. Hitting hard with power, it acts as a wake-up call, but still retains the slow, sluggish pace. Steadily pounding and hypnotic, it traps you and subjects you to the droning organs and dissonant sounding guitars, giving a real malevolent edge to it.
Closing the album is “Flying Alone” which brings back the lively and faster paced delivery. With a real kick to it, cutting riffs and that classic rock meets metal edge, it tears away, bringing back the energy of the opening tracks, reminding us that we shouldn’t get too comfortable. Venomous delivery all round, it’s a great way to close the release.
In all, “Dead Revolution” is a fine album. With its multiple genres all blending into one to give an interesting sound, this super charged occult rock group really come out swinging, hammering down those misfortunate enough to get in their way. Yes, at times it might drag out a little and you will be feeling a sense of deja-vu as it does have a very familiar sound to some of the influences you can hear in it, but what it does best is lay down some great retro styled rock and roll but coat it with a heavier and darker sound with some very progressive elements behind it. Worth a listen