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Hammerschmitt: Still On Fire
Hammerschmitt Still On Fire CD Album Review

Hammerschmitt: Still On Fire

Melodic Hard Rock/Metal
4.5/5.0

With a band name such as Hammerschmitt, I'll give you one guess to their country of origin. Yeah. Germany. Hammerschmitt has been plugging away at their craft, melodic hard rock and heavy metal, for nearly 20 years. Until now, all albums were recorded in German, with some success and some frustration. Their music wasn't connecting with the larger melodic metal audience. So the band had the bright idea to regroup and then rebound. They released two five song EP's in English, Born To Rock, Vol. 1 and Born To Rock, Vol. 2, in 2013 and 2015, both independently produced and self-released.

Hammerschmitt Still On Fire Band Photo

Hammerschmitt

Now if you missed all that and didn't get either or both EPs, all ten songs from both, plus one new song, have been collected in Still On Fire for the Massacre Records label. So then, excepting the final cut, Killed By Death, this is not really a "new" album. But it's one you'll probably want to check out. If anything it answers the question, why didn't they do this a long time ago? Hammerschmitt does a fine job playing in English. Now, with English being my native language and not having the lyrics, that previous statement could be moot. They may have no command of the English language whatsoever.

But their music sure sounds pretty damn good. Basically, Hammerschmitt plays classic melodic hard rock with a sharp metal edge, mostly from the twin guitar lines, the riffage and leads, and a significant bottom end. Think the German version of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, simply brought forward for the new millennium. After these things, Hammerschmitt is big on groove. Rock n roll easily informs and supports every song. You can bang your head and tap your toe to their tunes. Vocal harmony is also essential to their sound as well, even with the metal shouts. Vocalist Benjamin Kroiss has a clean presentation, with just enough rock roughness give him some edge. The take away, or the strengths, for me in all this is easily and simply the natural rock groove and the slick guitar lines. But, over all, Hammerschmitt's intent was to deliver heavier metal-edged melodic hard rock played in English, and they nailed it. Top picks: Sanctuary, Mean Streak, Shout, and the quite awesome Still On Fire. Others, not so much: Zombie and Whoohoo, the latter just weird.

Hammerschmitt - Metalheadz


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The Bottom Line

With Still On Fire, Hammerschmitt's intent was to deliver heavier metal-edged melodic hard rock played in English, and they nailed it. Easily recommended.

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