Hailing from Saint Petersburg Russia we have Hammerforce, this is the bands second album and is full of Powerful, Symphonic Metal. The album opens up with dramatic effect, 'I AM I' is fast energetic, really catchy, with racing guitar solos it’s certainly different, and alternative. From the first track to the final song there is truly no let up. This Russian Tiger has has some nifty, cutting edge guitar man ship courtesy of Ilya Kapralov and Ilya Mamaev, vocals to cut glass and melt your face from Dmitriy Yanovskiy and power house drumming delivered by Alexander Zhuchihin, Nikita Merzlyakov is credited not just with synths and rhythm guitars he produced, mixed and mastered this diverse record.
'Templates For All' is power metal enhanced to the extreme, its heavy beats thunder and dynamic keyboards bruise and swirl. 'Wasted' is melodious, alluring and sees Yanovskiy stretching his larynx, I wasn’t too keen at first on the bip bop of the keyboards on this song, but like the whole album the keyboards are integrated with the metal on offer and it does work.
'Mass Media' smashes and grabs, the lyrics seem to be quite dark, In fact well thought out, indeed the lyrics of all nine songs on 'Access Denied' are really clever and really make you think. 'Fugitive' opens like a Rave then the drums and vocals take control, it’s my least favourite track on here if I am honest. Swiftly moving onto the super 'Earth is on Trial', this is the best track on here, the keyboard playing is truly superb, stunning and electrifying, with earth shaking guitar solos that made this my firm favourite song on this opus .
'No Place for the Old Man' continues the metallic destruction, you really need to listen to everything a few times in order to take it all in and to fully appreciate this song, the track concludes with a chiming bell, which always reminds me of Black Sabbath! Which is always a great thing on any album for me? 'Reflections' is a competent instrumental that weaves its magic and delves into your psyche.
Final track 'Access Denied' takes you on a journey of the world’s social issues, and kicks you in the face with full force symphonic heels! I admit it took me a few listens to fully appreciate the album with its Electro/Trance synths, but it’s a grower and its worth getting this album, it will have you punching the air, air-guitaring, snapping your neck and at times it can be like the mosh-pit hitting the dance floor! Its solos and gritty vocals make the album and I think it would be no-brainer not to catch Hammerforce in the flesh if Hammerforce are playing at a venue near you!
N.B: The band has recently finished a version of 'Access Denied' with Russian lyrics written by Kate Sergeeva and I can tell you it’s just as brilliant sung in the bands mother tongue!
Review by: Seb Di Gatto
1. I Am I2. Templates For All3. Wasted4. Mass Media5. Fugitive6. Earth Is On Trial7. No Place For The Old Men8. Reflections9. Access Denied