|Review: Hammers Of Misfortune - 17th Street|
Label: Metal Blade Records
Year released: 2011
Genre: Progressive Metal
Review online: January 29, 2012
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Rated 4/5 (80%) (11 Votes)
Regrettably this my first experience with bizarre progressive metal maestros Hammers of Misfortune, although one that has piqued my curiosity for the band and their past work. One thing I have noticed regarding the band's fifth full-length 17th Street is that a lot of their previously established fan base has found the album to be somewhat of a disappointment. Since I'm a newcomer I can't comment on how this compares to their previous output, what I can say is that I feel there is nothing disappointing here for the uninitiated, and I believe 17th Street could serve as an excellent introduction to Hammers of Misfortune.
My initial impressions upon hearing the band was something along the lines of: "Wow, so this is what Slough Feg would have sounded like had they decided to play 70's prog." Obviously it didn't come as a surprise to find out John Cobbett was involved, who for my money did the best Slough Feg albums. One thing that really surprised me was just how accessible some of the tracks were, take a look at the likes of "The Grain" and "The Day the City Died", both massive, ridiculously catchy numbers, the latter of which sounds like Yes and Meat Loaf jamming out with Maiden.
The album is certainly fruity, but when you're being billed as a progressive metal act what can you really expect? There is a lot to like on 17th Street and I think progressive metal fans would do well to check them out. Hammers of Misfortune offer up an interesting, eclectic blend of music, which whilst being far out never loses itself to pretention, and always remains accessible and catchy. I look forward to digging backwards into their catalogue.
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