Hammer of Misfortune's fifth full-length album (and their first for Metal Blade Records) once again mixes progressive, folk, doom and power Metal to produce an album that is a unique listen.
The majestic start of '317' is followed by the title track with its solid backbeat (supplied by drummer Chewy Marzolo who has recently returned to the band) and a chunky guitar riff and keyboards from Sigrid Sheie that wouldn't look out of place on a Rush or a Dream Theatre album.
Article continues below...
'The Grain' follows next which is one of the album's outstanding tracks and it demonstrates that this band can do catchy tunes (even with less than upbeat lyrics) that can turn into seven minute epics!
The slower paced 'Staring (31st Floor)' gives way to the more upbeat piano based 'The Day The City Died' which Cobbett explains is about how different life in a big city in the United States (specifically his hometown of San Francisco) is now compared to how it used to be.
Sheie again displays her keyboard talents in the lyrically downbeat but excellently performed 'Summer Tears' which with its almost Queen-like harmonies in the chorus is another of the album's stand-out tracks. The album's final closing tracks 'Grey Wednesday' and 'Going Somewhere' round off an excellent album.
'17th Street' is available now on CD (3-panel digi-pack) and 180 gram double gatefold vinyl.
Staring (The 31st Floor)
The Day the City Died
Joe Hutton: Vocals
John Cobbett: Guitar
Leila Abdul-Rauf: Guitar, Vocals
Sigrid Sheie: Keyboards, Flute, Vocals
Max Barnett: Bass Guitar
Chewy Marzolo: drums