Hammers of Misfortune – Dead Revolution (Metal Blade)

Genre: Metal/progressive rock

Repackaging steely NWOBHM and prog rock eccentricities for the 21st century, Hammers of Misfortune show many of the ‘trad metal’ revivalists just what can be achieved with a little imagination and a heap of songwriting suss.

The San Francisco sextet haven’t exactly reinvented the wheel with Dead Revolution, but they sound like few acts out there at the moment – maybe that’s because of Joe Hutton’s vocals, which wouldn’t be out of place on a dusty slab of folky psychedelia circa ’72, or the glorious way in which Sigrid Sheie’s organ embellishes John Cobbett and Leila Abdul-Rauf’s warm, glowing riffery. And on that note, there are some gargantuan hooks to be found on the Hammers’ sixth opus, starting with towering opener The Velvet Inquisition and punching straight out of songs like Flying Alone, a fist pumping, bombastic celebration of true metal if ever there was one. Dead Revolution is also a richly varied affair, boasting both a rousing, riffed-up shanty (Days of ’49) and a meander into trippy acid rock (Here Comes The Sky).

An acquired taste? Perhaps – especially given Hutton’s singing style. However, open-minded listeners would be foolish not to join this revolution…

RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10 Hammer time