The West Coast progressive rock/metal contingent known as Hammers of Misfortune certainly like to keep their fans on their toes, not only with their eclectic sound but seeing as it's been 5 years since 17th Street, they've also kept everyone waiting...patiently. Well, the wait was worth it, as Dead Revolution, their brand new opus for Metal Blade Records, takes their love for '70s prog rock as well as classic hard rock one step further. Part of the reason the band took so long to release this one was due to the many side projects the members are involved in, but a motorcycle accident as well as the appearance of babies also kept them off the shelf for a while. Dead Revolution contains only seven songs, but they are well thought out and expertly composed, with the care & love that ultimately went into their creation instantly recognizable. "Sea of Heroes" is richly layered with vocal textures, keyboards, and crunchy guitar riffs (almost like a strange mix of Queen, Yes, and Savatage), while the wailing Hammond organ & synths help drive the otherwise heavy rock cut "The Precipice (Waiting for the Crash...)". Images of Uriah Heep pop up on "Here Comes the Sky", and the shuffling rhythms coupled with the biting guitar/organ riffs of "Flying Alone" brings to mind Mk. II era Deep Purple. Of course, the band haven't forgotten about some of their Viking/folk metal & doom roots, which you can hear on the majestic "Days of '49".
While some might say that, stylistically wise, that Hammers of Misfortune are all over the place, I think Dead Revolution sees the band more at home in their own skin than on previous releases, and might be their most focused, enjoyable platter yet. Plenty of textures, just heavy enough, just proggy enough, and always melodic, this is an enjoyable, fun album from the always unpredictable Hammers of Misfortune.
1) The Velvet Inquisition
2) Dead Revolution
3) Sea of Heroes
4) The Precipice (Waiting for the Crash...)
5) Here Comes the Sky
6) Flying Alone
7) Days of '49