While I expected Hammers to be tight, I was pleasantly surprised to discover exactly how spot-on the intricacies of their songs translated live. Hammers of Misfortune, of course, had the perfect balance of both precision and emotion, the songs given a new vitality, positively glowing in the live setting.
We asked all of the contributing writers here at Hellbound.ca to submit their Top 10 albums of 2011, which we then compiled into a master list, assigning points to all their choices (10 points for #1, down to 1 point for #10). After tabulating the results, we have created Hellbound.ca’s Top 20 Albums of 2011. For part three of our continuing series, here is albums #10 through 6…
We asked all of the contributing writers here at Hellbound.ca to submit their Top 10 albums of 2011, which we then compiled into a master list, assigning points to all their choices (10 points for #1, down to 1 point for #10). After tabulating the results, we have created Hellbound.ca’s Top 20 Albums of 2011. For part two of our continuing series, here is albums #15 through 11…
The latest band to make it big in the new wave of occult rock (ie Ghost, Blood Ceremony), these Dutch demons have unleashed a lengthy, 76-minute Metal Blade debut upon the masses with this, their second album. Opening with a shuffling, ringing, haunting instrumental, you know you’re in for a hell of a ride…
All up, Anniversary is exactly what I hoped it would be. A mucky snail-paced trawl through the band’s debut, followed up by an unrestrained romp across the years. There’s obviously a wealth of material not on the second career-spanning disc, but I guess with only one side to play with you pick your best. I’ve no complaints.
If you follow metal it’s highly unlikely you haven’t heard of Ghost. The group – led by an Undead Pope vocalist sporting Satanic vestments – might be the metal band of the moment. Their album Opus Eponymous, which mixes infectious riffs with 1970s trappings, received critical raves. Their shows are packed. They were forced to cancel an American tour due to visa problems and able to book their own headlining tour months later. Fans write Facebook postings offering to work as servants. Rabid detractors only seem to add to their publicity. It may be closing in on Armageddon but it’s a great time to be an anonymous Swede in a cloak.
Justin M. Norton interviews an anonymous member of Ghost.
Whenever possible, Hellbound tries to get you the scoop on everything new and noteworthy in metal, but sometimes things slip through the cracks. Redemption at the Puritan’s Hand, originally released in April, was one of them. However, this album’s moment has not passed. It looms large, presiding like a revered elder over everything else released in 2011.
7th Street is another impeccable notch in the Hammers’ collective belt, and while it may be their most sophisticated and accessible album to date, it is without a doubt sonically and thematically classic Hammers of Misfortune. One of the must-have albums for 2011.
Sympathetic Resonance might only contain six new tracks, but every one of them is superb. I know I’m not the first one to say this, but if you were contemplating investing in some progressive metal and you were reaching for the new Dream Theater release—stop right now. Arch/Matheos is infinitely more creative and a hell of a lot more satisfying. Who knows what will become of the band, but I sincerely hope that they record again because Sympathetic Resonance is an outstanding success on every level.
An awesome debut which points towards even bigger things, I can’t recommend this album enough.