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Hammer King - King Is Rising

Hammer King
King Is Rising
by VR at 19 December 2016, 10:04 PM

German Heavy/Power Metal Quartet HAMMER KING confers on to the Metal world their second full-length album entitled, "The King Is Rising", in the year 2016. The band has been "hand picked by the King himself to play the truest Heavy Metal in this and all other worlds". Whoever that may be, the band have played with each other in a band called IVORY NIGHT, and between them, they have been part of 10 bands in total! The band apparently was formed way back in 1978 and they released their debut effort in 2015, which was when they started performing together. The band tries to play music that sticks to the Power Metal genre with Metal anthems, epic sounding melodies, and lyrics relating to war, heroic warriors, and deeds by legends. They also claim to be huge fans and influenced by NWOBHM architects JUDAS PRIEST and IRON MAIDEN.

"King Is Rising", the first track of the album and clocking just under 5 minutes, starts off with a simple lead that is backed up with a chugging power chord riff. The intent of the song was to have an epic sound with generous helping of backing vocals. In reality, this seems like a tired song with a slack melody and even blistering twin guitar leads can’t seem to salvage. An odd choice to start off the album with, there is a chanting bit in the middle section that is put there for audience participation and other than that, has no actual purpose at all. "Last Hellriders", the second track, is a galloping song with a tear away riff and a chaotic lead guitar melody. A much tighter and shorter track, it has a very agreeable riff and a much better feel to it. If one ignores the stereotypical lyrics, the song will have the listener headbang to the entire song and is anchored by exceptional riffing. "Kill The Messenger" has a twin guitar lead beginning and an interesting bass intro, before the familiar lead vocals jumps into the fray. The song has a simple melody and has repetitive guitar bits with sounds of jackboots. The standard chanting bit makes an appearance in this track, as well as backing vocals, that the band uses to make the track sound more epic. "Eternal Tower Of Woe”, the last track of the album, begins with an acoustic picking melody and a flute before a clap of thunder cracks the rumbling riff and pushes the song into gear. The verse is backed by a heavy riff, but loses tempo during the bridge and slows down even more during the chorus. A melodious lead guitar solo keeps the riff company towards the latter end of the song.

To be blunt, I am not a fan of the whole Power Metal genre and I think it is rather insipid and devoid of originality, and this album has only reinforces my opinion. The melodies are almost similar and follow a pattern; the riffs are quite predictable. The lyrical content delves into the fantasy realm and has all the clichés of a concept album, which can get tedious after a few tracks. The tracks are linked by a few key words like king, Hammer and War, which gives away to the whole approach the band takes, and the concept of the album. I am also not a huge fan of the high-pitched vocals that the Power Metal bands employ. Is there enough for a fan to listen to this album? Probably. I do know that there is market for this genre of music and this album is only for folks who enjoy songs and sagas of fictional kings and their adventures.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 5
Memorability: 5
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. King Is Rising
2. Last Hellriders
3. For God And The King
4. Warrior's Reign
5. Reichshammer
6. Kingbrother
7. Battle Gorse
8. Kill The Messenger
9. The Hammer Is The King
10. Viva La King
11. Battalions Of War
12. Eternal Tower Of Woe
K.K. Basement - Vocals, Bass
Dolph A. Macallan - Drums, Choir
Gino Wilde - Guitars, Choir
Titan Fox V - Vocals, Guitars
Record Label: Cruz del Sur Music


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