John Cobbett and company return with Overtaker, Hammers Of Misfortune’s first album since 2016’s Dead Revolution. The album marks the return of vocalist Jamie Myers, who hasn’t been featured on an album since 2006’s The Locust Years.
Unlike most of Hammers’ efforts, the album is particularly heavy out of the gate with “Overtaker” being more thrashy, while “Dark Brennius,” which features former vocalist and Slough Feg frontman Mike Scalzi on the first of his two guest appearances on this album gives off some otherworldly Traveller vibes. Cobbett’s guitar playing borders on virtuoso here as he soars throughout this song, while Sigrid Sheie’s keyboards add that excellent piece of flair that is as integral to each of this band’s releases.
“Ghost Hearts” strongly features the vocals of Jamie Myers while the rest of the band absolutely shreds beneath her pipes, with each individual member helping to create an otherworldly experience for the listener. “Outside Our Minds” feels a bit more in line with 17th Street and Dead Revolution with excellent use of varied dynamics balancing out the heavy with beauty. Hammers always does a great job of operating within this unique space of progressive metal.
The opening and transitional sections here feel as if they pull from the earliest iterations of the genre without feeling like they cannot chug along and do their own thing at any given time. “Overthrower” is a tremendous name for the song because with Scalzi running the show on this track feels as though he might be trying to usurp the throne from a band that he’s been away from for 16 years.
Overtaker is the sound of a band continuing to do their thing after all this time away from one another, bridging the distinct gaps within the timelines of its existence, creating what might be one of the most cohesive albums that the band has ever released. For fans of the band or anybody looking for something progressive and heavy with a little extra oomph look no further than the latest masterpiece from Hammers Of Misfortune, one of the year’s strongest records.
(released December 2, 2022)
Heavy Music HQ Rating:
Listen To Hammers Of Misfortune – “Don’t Follow The Lights”