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Hemer, Patrick: The Writing’s on the Wall

Even though it’s February 2020, I’m still listening to several late 2019 releases. The end of the year is so crazy, it’s frankly nice to catch up with some releases that would otherwise have gotten past me. This is one of those albums that almost got away.

Patrick Hemer is best known for his work with Horizon, a German metal band that gained a solid reputation in the early 2000s. Since Horizon broke up, Hemer kept himself busy by teaching guitar lessons and working in studios. Eventually, Hemer decided to develop a solo project that would keep him even closer to the style of heavy metal that he loves. I never listened to Horizon, and so Hemer’s name was unfamiliar to me; however, I quickly learned that he is a highly respected guitarist who knows his way around a seven string.

For the most part, Hemer’s band plays progressive metal and the style suits them perfectly. The best thing about this band is that they aren’t simply playing for the sake of getting to the next flashy guitar solo. Instead, the band works together to create music that is interesting, entertaining, and bold. Hemer has a flashy and exciting style, but he can also be playful in ways that make him more than your average shredder. If you don’t listen to tons of progressive metal, you may find this album hard to categorize. There’s a bit of 80s power-prog here but some fans may also think of Symphony X. The music is certainly familiar, but Hemer and company ultimaterly have their own style, one that other bands like this don’t necessarily have.

I can imagine that fans of really heavy or really extreme metal may not enjoy this album’s progressive qualities. And yet, I can’t help but think guitar fans will want to hear at least a few of Hemer’s solos. Of all the songs here, I enjoyed “Pandora’s Box” the most. It was heavy and playful and showed off some of the band’s most creative qualities. I also enjoyed “Carpe Noctem,” the album’s closing track. As with “Pandora’s Box,” “Carpe Noctem” showcased the band’s knack for arranging music in ways that are creative and playful without calling too much attention to how cool they are. Ultimately, it was that quality that impressed me the most about this release. Hemer is an awesome guitarist, but he genuinely seems to play well with others. For a quick introduction to the band, check out the first two tracks. If you want more, check out the tracks I mentioned above. If you want something slower, listen to “The Legacy,” not only one of the longest tracks, but also one that shows off the band’s vocals really well.

Track Listing:
1. Obsession
2. Yesterday’s Burden
3. Slave to Yourself
4. Paradigm of Blandness
5. In the Blood
6. Pandora’s Box
7. Double Bind
8. The Legacy
9. Burning Hunger
10. Course for Disaster
11. Carpe Noctem

Added: February 6th 2020
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Label Page
Hits: 817
Language: english

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