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Review: Hammers Of Misfortune - Fields/Church of Broken Glass
Hammers Of Misfortune
Fields/Church of Broken Glass

Label: Cruz Del Sur Music
Year released: 2008
Duration: 70:01
Tracks: 11
Genre: Unclassifiable


Review online: April 19, 2009
Reviewed by: Hermer Arroyo
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.62/5 (72.38%) (21 Votes)

Two years after Hammers of Misfortune released the very good The Locust Years they put out this double album titled Fields/Church of Broken Glass. Since that album, this band has experienced a lot of changes, the main one being the replacement of their singer Mike Scalzi. Patrick Goodwin takes the helm at the vocals and guitars, and while he doesn't possess the deep tone Scalzi had, his voice fits the band like a glove.

Still, the main force of this band is John Cobbett and with this album he once again has created a masterpiece. This album doesn't vary from the formula employed in the past, but describing that formula is a royal pain. Hammers of Misfortune are one of those bands that you have to hear in order to understand their sound. Weird and very cool would be the best description I can come up with. Anyway this double CD starts with Fields and it contains six songs which they all kill without exception. The second part, Church of Broken Glass follows the same style, but is not quite as good, mainly because "Butchertown" is a little too long and "Church of Broken Glass" is a little lackluster compared to the rest.

Quality musicianship is what we expect from this band; starting with the Fields trilogy Goodwin takes no time in making his presence felt. Then we are treated to wonderful, haunting female vocals by Jesse Quattro, combined with additional vocals from Sigrid Sheie which give a lot of variety in this department. But that doesn't end here as the riffage by Cobbett and Goodwin is outstanding, pulling out weird shit every time they can, "The Gulls" being a prime example of that. Chewy Marzolo's drumming is very good and he proves that doesn't have to play unbelievably fast to showcase his talent. The keyboards by Sigrid Sheie don't overshadow the songs; he plays them just loud enough to give them the proper atmosphere, something that I love about this record.

Although the album is a tad too long, Hammers of Misfortune have created a wonderful piece of metal. Having their distinctive sound, this double album takes time to fully appreciate, so is a difficult band to digest. But with its superb variety and originality it gets better with each listen. In the end, there is something that you'll remember after listening to this record, and for that reason Fields/Church of Broken Glass is almost a perfect album.

More about Hammers Of Misfortune...
Review: 17th Street (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: Fields/Church of Broken Glass (reviewed by Adam Kohrman)
Review: The August Engine (reviewed by Adam Kohrman)
Review: The August Engine (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: The Bastard (reviewed by Adam Kohrman)
Review: The Locust Years (reviewed by Adam Kohrman)
Review: The Locust Years (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Interview with JC on February 28, 2004 (Interviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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