Power metal: it's the heavy metal genre that will not lay down and die anytime soon, despite it's ongoing and immense cloud of detractors. So check your Manowar, Blind Guardian, and Hammerfall albums at the door, and welcome a new king of power metal, Hammer King and their debut album Kingdom of the Hammer King.
Now, if you think there's a theme here, you're right. There's a king, and he's got a hammer, a large one, I suspect, like Thor humongous. So, he's the Hammer King. But he also has a kingdom. What's it called, you ask. Slay you, heathen. The Kingdom of the Hammer King. The album has ten songs. Of the tens songs, five either have hammer, king, or both in the title. Kingdom of the Hammer King, I Am The King, I Am The Hammer King, We Are The Hammer and, of course, Glory to the Hammer King. Despite the obvious redundancy, it sure makes lyric writing pretty damn easy.
As for the music, the power metal style is self-evident. Galloping rhythm section. Twin guitar harmonies and leads. Generally melodic vocals, yet often with some choral vocal moments. Those give you whole medieval fantasy world feeling. While most songs come at a rushing pace, Hammer King will back down for more traditional heavy metal with Blood Angels and Chancellor of Glory, who admonishes you puny serfs to "listen to the king." Then there's Visions of a Healed World, a true melodic heavy metal album with a good groove, a powerful harmonious vocal arrangement, and more nice twin guitar leads. It's the best song here. The saying is, "There's nothing new under the sun." That could be said of Hammer King and this album. But for classic outrageous power metal, Kingdom of the Hammer King is a guilty indulgence. Recommended.
The saying is, "There's nothing new under the sun." That could be said of Hammer King and this album. But for classic outrageous power metal, Kingdom of the Hammer King is a guilty indulgence.
In the early Eighties, one of the first American metal bands that caught my interest was New York's Riot, founded by guitarist Mark Reale (1955-2012). Albums like Narita and Fire Down Under were classics of ... [ Read More ]