Wednesday, July 31, 2013

HAMMERFORCE: "Access Denied"

Rating: RRR
Label: Hammerforce 2013
Review by Kimmo Toivonen

Here's the second album from Russian Power/Prog Metal band Hammerforce. Well, they really couldn't be anything other than a Power Metal band with a name like that, right? The band's first album "Dice" was released in 2009, but it didn't really make an impact, and the band were struggling for a while.Some personnel changes took place and the band started working on new material. They decided to ditch the "usual" metal lyrical themes and to concentrate on real issues, and as a result, the lyrics of "Access Denied" deal with modern social problems.

What separates Hammerforce from the countless other power/prog metal bands is their use of keyboards. While their songs are pretty standard power metal with a lot of prog overtones, the keyboard work is rather interesting - they use a lot of techno/trance/dance-type of sounds and layers. Frankly, if it wasn't for the synths I'd hesitate to give this album three "R's" because their songs could seriously use some memorable hooks... but the somewhat innovative use of unusual sounds and the good production secure them that third "R". Now if only they could add some pop flavours into their otherwise interesting metal soup... that might be something quite special.

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