Hammers of Misfortune – The Locust Years (CD)

Hammers of Misfortune – The Locust Years / 8 Tracks / 2006 Cruz Del Sur / http://www.hammersofmisfortune.com / http://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com / Reviewed 16 August 2006

Hammers of Misfortune start out “The Locust Years” in a weak way. The extended instrumental opening to the title (and opening) track is just too long to keep individuals interested and backing the album. The dual vocal assault that final starts out after a few minutes of instrumental music is interesting, but the vocals do not seem to bring enough energy to the table. The male vocal can get up to the necessary level a few times during the track, but the production coupled with a voice that is not exactly perfect for the job makes Hammers of Misfortune start off their “The Locust Years” on a weak foot. While the instruments are captured well during “The Locust Years”, the production seems to miss out on the vocals, rendering them echoey and somewhat removed from the rest of the music on the track.

The progression of the arrangements during the last part of “The Locust Years” is very interesting and sends individuals off well for “We Are The Widows”, but from the bat Hammers of Misfortune seem to be behind the eight ball. The female vocals start off “We Are The Widows”, and they seem to provide a slightly stronger side to Hammers of Misfortune. This is done by blending styles from acts like Stevie Nicks and The Corrs; there is a pop element to the vocals here, which are attempting to do a gothic meets medieval metal type of thing.

During this track, the instrumentation that was so interesting in the second half of “The Locust Years” has reverted back to the middling and not quite so impressive sound that started out the disc. “Trot Out The Dead” reverses the situation again; the instrumentation is impressive but the male vocals coming back sounding not quite unlike a blend of The Who and Ozzy Osbourne, something close to what is needed but still miles away from where the band needs to be. The band is very talented musically, but there are still some problems with the vocals on “The Locust Years” that need to be ironed out before the band can start racking up the hits. The female vocals provide a stronger sound than the male ones, but I would like to hear two equally strong singers work together on a disc that has pretty much interesting instrumental arrangements. I sincerely hope that the band can work out these kinks, as they can be a force to be reckoned with.

Top Tracks: Trot Out The Dead, Famine’s Lamp

Rating: 4.8/10

[JMcQ]

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