Sometimes the heavy metal universe throws us some not so surprising coincidences, providential ships passing in the night as it were. Last week I reviewed the latest and tenth album from power metal progenitors and giants Hammerfall. This week it's relative newcomers, but not unfamiliar to the power metal genre, Hammer King and their second album, King Is Rising.
To begin, for some context and description, you might find my review of their first album, Kingdom Of The Hammer King both informative and amusing. I say this because, simply put, the same lyrical and musical themes continue with this new album. There's the King. The Hammer King. And the Kingdom of the Hammer King. And power metal about the same. Apparently, however, there may be some evolution. Press material suggests, "The second chapter of the Hammer King saga thematically centers about war and revolt, while the King's battle stories drastically bespeak to today's global crises." I get the first half of the sentence, but the latter is a bit of head scratcher and a stretch (at least without having the lyrics before me).
Musically, suffice to say, Hammer King delivers, again, blazing and blistering, "keep it true," European power metal. However, if there are signature features to their sound it probably revolves around two elements, the guitars and the vocal arrangements. To the former, Hammer King delivers the genre signature of twin guitar harmony with soaring lead solos. To the latter, the vocal harmony in choral refrains are melodic and abundant. Call it what you want: typical, redundant, or repetitive, but Hammer King knows their craft. But for the sake of argument, and perhaps amusement, the singular exaggerated example here of the genre is probably the song The Hammer Is The King. Pure power metal, with the redundant chorus, "The king is the hammer; the hammer is king; no king without a hammer; forever we shall sing; the hammer is the king." Yup. That pretty much says it all about Hammer King and King Is Rising: the hammer is the king. Nevertheless, this album is probably a small step forward from the first album. Recommended.
Suffice to say, with King Is Rising, Hammer King delivers, again, blazing and blistering, "keep it true," in the best European power metal tradition.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]