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Review: Hammers Of Misfortune - The August Engine
Hammers Of Misfortune
The August Engine

Label: Cruz Del Sur Music
Year released: 2003
Duration: 44:27
Tracks: 7
Genre: Unclassifiable


Review online: October 9, 2010
Reviewed by: Adam Kohrman
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.14/5 (82.78%) (36 Votes)

Hammers of Misfortune is almost not a band. It's actually a project spawned by friends who wanted to create great music. Instead of their more noteworthy (and still excellent) day job bands, they came together to form this one, straight out of left field. Not falling into any genre, the music seems more natural and passionate. It's clear that the members aren't trying to attract the audience of a certain scene; they're simply making compelling, engrossing, and great music because it's what they want to do. Even if this music sucked (and it doesn' really doesn't), there's something very refreshing about such an attitude.

Opening up the band's sophomore effort, The August Engine, is an expertly laid out and composed instrumental track. Like the rest of the album, you can fall right into this song's trancelike exuberance without forcing an extreme level of focus. Unlike most modern progressive music, you don't have to try hard to enjoy or understand this music. It may be strange and complex, but it's still accessible. Mike Scalzi's barking croon is all over the album, along with Jamie Myers, who provides a female lead on songs like "Rainfall," where her voice in indistinguishable from a whisper. Her voice is fitting for some parts, but for a song like "The Trial and the Grave," with its so very heavy and disarming subject matter, her voice is too weak to carry the song requisite intense and visceral emotions.

This is a very strong album, with different sounds and genres at different points. It isn't perfect, as isn't deserving of the highest revelry, but it's certainly an album worth every metalhead's time.

Additional Information

2010 re-issue on Metal Blade Records reviewed here.

More about Hammers Of Misfortune...
Review: 17th Street (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: Fields/Church of Broken Glass (reviewed by Adam Kohrman)
Review: Fields/Church of Broken Glass (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
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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