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Hemer, Patrick: More Than Meets the Eye

Patrick Hemer? I have to admit that's a name which doesn't ring many bells with me so I'll have to rely upon what his record label (Frontiers) have to say about him in terms of background and pedigree.

"A long-respected studio musician, touring hired gun and guitar instructor, Patrick Hemer gained worldwide recognition at the dawn of the 2000's as the main man and fretboard wizard of the German metal band HORIZON with whom he recorded a few cult albums, including the critically acclaimed "The Sky's The Limit" (Massacre Records - 2002) and the outstanding "Worlds Apart" (Massacre/King - 2004) that received a warm welcome in Japan, thanks to the fervent support of legendary magazine Burrrn!.

Back to the world of recording studios for a while after the untimely break-up of Horizon, Patrick collaborated in numerous projects in a wide array of genres, started getting involved in production, and also devoted himself more and more to teaching to become an in-demand clinician maintaining strong contacts with the guitar community. But his deep, unwavering love for metal music finally had to take over again…..

Now, teaming up with drummer extraordinaire Tom Wagner and keyboardist David Casanova, he has put together a new solo project meant to display his best, but also heaviest, playing and songwriting to date."

So, it seems we could be expecting some kind of widdle-fest judging by the, "an in-demand clinician," quote but what in fact we get are eleven pretty solid well-constructed, well-executed and not too over the top (in the guitar department) progressive metal songs including a creditable stab at Queen's "Death on Two legs". More Than Meets the Eye is part traditional metal, part progressive metal and also includes a couple of rather tasty instrumentals in the shape of "Firelight" and "Terra Incognita". Something for everybody then? Yep, certainly if you enjoyed Lance King's recent effort as an example you may wish to investigate this one.

Track Listing:
01. Up from the Ashes /Music & Lyrics: Patrick Hemer
02. Thorn in My Flesh/ Music & Lyrics: Patrick Hemer
03. Edge of Insanity/ Music: Patrick Hemer, Lyrics: Patrick Hemer & Keith Boyce
04. For All Eternity/ Music & Lyrics : Patrick Hemer
05. Firelight/ Music: Patrick Hemer
06. The Godfather/ Music & Lyrics : Patrick Hemer
07. Panem Et Circenses/ Music & Lyrics : Patrick Hemer
08. Legend in Your Own Mind/ Music & Lyrics : Patrick Hemer
09. Death on Two Legs/ Music & Lyrics : Freddie Mercury
10. Guilty/ Music: Patrick Hemer, Lyrics: Patrick Hemer & Dan McEnroe
11. Terra Incognita/ Music: Patrick Hemer

Added: June 15th 2013
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Artist MySpace Page
Hits: 2477
Language: english

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Hemer, Patrick: More Than Meets the Eye
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2013-06-14 19:44:39
My Score:

Previously known for his involvement with the band Horizon, guitar-whizz and vocalist Patrick Hemer has unleashed a solo album, More Than Meets The Eye, which possesses a real sense of strength and spirit. Style wise Hemer veers from Melodic Hard Rock in the vein of Dokken to a Power Metal thump that reminds of Primal Fear, while also nodding to Dio.

Hemer can certainly play and he doesn't care who knows it, with his fiery, (verging on shred) solos positively spitting out virtuosity and energy. However things never descend into the realms of technicality over substance, with the melodies behind the songs and Hemer's strong Don Dokken meets Michael Eden (ex-Eden's Curse) vocals adding another dimension to music that could, in the wrong hands, have turned into an exercise in "look at me". That pitfall isn't only avoided, it is skilfully eradicated through tracks like "Edge Of Insanity" where double kick barrages bounce off squealing guitars and mighty riffs, or the slower approach of "Thorn In My Flesh", an unmistakable late 80s US heavy rock vibe delivered through classy harmony vocals and a keen guitar melody. All the while Hemer adds splashes of colour through his six string abilities; fret flurries, arpeggios or hammer ons keeping things interesting. That said the funky metallic stomp of "Panem Et Circenses" where the chorus firmly sticks in the mind, or the brooding, gritty riff and layered keys that makes "Up From The Ashes" confidently straddle metal/rock genres, don't exactly need a lot of window dressing to catch the eye. Then factor in the heartfelt "For All Eternity" where Hemer proves he can sideline the more adventurous side of his playing for something more considered (the results landing in Eden's Curse territory), or the more funky fist to the face of "Legend In Your Own Mind" and you have an album that satisfies on a surprising amount of levels. One of the few less convincing moments is a cover of the Queen classic "Death On Two Legs" proving once again why the early years of this band remain resolutely difficult to reinterpret with any real success.

A confident and assured album, More Than Meets The Eye is exactly that, having the ability to kick with controlled aggression, seduce through subtlety and dazzle with virtuosity, while never lingering in any one place too long.

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