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Review: Hammerforce - Dice

Label: Perekrestok Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 47:05
Tracks: 9
Genre: Progressive Power Metal


Review online: February 3, 2009
Reviewed by: Eternal Sorrow
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.75/5 (75%) (8 Votes)

Hammerforce, a young band from Russia give us their debut album here and while it does have its shortcomings it is a rather strong outing for a first time.  Lets first get it out of the way by saying these kind of remind of Dragonforce, that is if they were any good.  These guys are more of a venerable potpourri of many bands; I mean take some Sonata Arctica, a little Pagan's Mind, a touch of Rhapsody, a hint of Blind Guardian, and a dash of Dragonforce then mix it all together and let it simmer until each part's flavour come out perfectly and you get Hammerforce.  Although their influences may be very noticeable they have enough distinguishing elements to keep them from sounding played out.

As I said they remind me of Dragonforce quite a bit, but only in the keyboard and guitar duel sections.  It's like taking the speedy melodic sections of Dragonforce and mixing them with the more progressive styling of, say, newer Sonata Arctica or Pagan's Mind.  And while these more progressive sections are usually well done, they are where the band tends to falter, and they do drag on at times.  When they kick it up though and just go more speedy and melodic, they sound great and the overall mix of the the straight power and the progressive do come together well due to great songwriting skills.  Also worth mentioning are the awesome solos which have a rather old school vibe to them, while not actually reminding me of any bands in particular.  Lastly the vocals, while not amazing and the singer's range is clearly limited, his Russian accent adds a nice tough and he uses quite a few clever melodies.

Overall this album lacks a lot of the polish that the bigger names in the scene have, but it is a nice dose of Progressive Power Metal.  While I wouldn't say it is essential and you should buy or die, it couldn't hurt to check this out as there are far worse bands out there. 

More about Hammerforce...
Review: Access Denied (reviewed by MetalMike)
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